The linear tape open “road map” has been extended to generation 10, predicting significant advances in capacity and transfer rate. At two-year intervals, a new generation of LTO is introduced; this “generation” includes drives, libraries, cartridges and both barcode and RFID labels. Generation 7, 16TB, is scheduled for release by last quarter 2015 and will also feature updated partitioning, encryption, and compression ratios.

The Linear Tape Open consortium, a regulatory body that hosts LTO conferences, released the first generation in 2000, adopted the current generation (6) in 2012, and projects generation 10 for 2020. EDP is presently in the process of “early testing” LTO7 labels on drives and libraries in preparation for the official release.

Fun Fact: The European Organization for Nuclear Research was one of the first groups to implement and utilize generation 6.