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TAPE Program

TAPE is the Information Storage Industry Consortium’s collaborative research program in advanced magnetic tape storage technology.  The TAPE Research Program was initiated in 1999, is sponsored and funded by companies in the magnetic tape storage industry, and supports research activities at universities worldwide.  Resent research topics have included the following tape technology areas: tape
  • Advanced Magnetic Recording Media
  • Magnetics & Performance Modeling
  • Head-Media Interface and Spacing
  • Media Dimensional Stability & Long-term Media Properties
  • Tape Path Mechanics Model Development
  • Atomic Scale Lubrication & Tribology
  • Advanced Tape Channels, Coding & Signal Processing
The program’s goals are targeted at developing the underlying technology that will achieve a native capacity of 128 Terabytes in a tape cartridge by the year 2022, as specified in INSIC’s most recent 2012-2022 International Magnetic Tape Storage Roadmap, which will allow magnetic tape technology to maintain its leadership position in the expanding archival data storage market.     

The TAPE Research Program's corporate sponsors have included tape industry drive manufacturers Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Oracle and Quantum, as well as media suppliers Sony, Fujifilm, Maxell and Imation.

The Case for Corporate Participation in the INSIC TAPE Research Program

INSIC’s TAPE Research Program represents a highly efficient, highly leveraged means of gaining early, real-time access to the best university-based research available, and offers companies an opportunity to help direct this research, in a coordinated way, onto pre-competitive problems of common interest to the magnetic tape data storage industry.  It’s highly efficient, in the sense that only projects of very specific interest to the industry are supported, and these are supported in an extremely cost-effective manner.  It’s highly leveraged, in the sense that project support costs are shared among the industrial sponsors of the program, adding to its cost-effectiveness.

The TAPE Research Program is organized and directed entirely by the industrial sponsors through their representatives on the TAPE Program Board of Directors.  The TAPE Program supports only projects selected by the participating experts from industry, and which are approved by the TAPE Board as being critical to achieving the program’s overall goals.  In this effort, the industrial sponsors are not restricted to research being conducted at a single university research center (or even a small handful of universities), and they can be highly selective in requesting proposals from the best individual university researchers worldwide for each project, regardless of their academic affiliation. 

The TAPE Program also provides a unique mechanism for encouraging universities to work together on the larger problems involved with achieving high-density magnetic tape recording by focusing researchers on complementary aspects of the problem.  In addition to the funded research, the TAPE Program provides an effective venue, through its quarterly Technical Review Meetings, for the industrial sponsors to gain access to relevant research contributions from non-funded university researchers and from other invited guest speakers.  This is a testament to the TAPE Program’s unique pre-competitive forum in which leading industrial and academic researchers can exchange and sharpen their ideas on what’s most important for the long-range success of our industry, and in which tape drive manufacturers, media makers and component/materials suppliers can work together to help ensure the successful future of tape storage.

Overall, sponsorship of the INSIC TAPE Research Program presents companies in the magnetic tape data storage industry with a unique opportunity to participate in a well-focused, exceptionally cost-efficient approach for maximizing the value of a portion of their investment in long-range university research and provides an exceptional opportunity for companies to strengthen relationships with their customers and suppliers at the advanced research level.

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For more information on INSIC or the TAPE Research Program,
please contact us at: INSIC



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