This Techworld document tabulates details of the Mammoth and LTO Ultrium tape formats and includes road map details where available. These are both mid-range tape market products, the former from Exabyte, the latter from a consortium of HP, IBM and Seagate (now Certance).

This is Exabyte's original format and is an 8mm helical scan tape. It comes as Mammoth 1 or Mammoth 2, known as M1 and M2, and has no further generations planned. Mammoth used to be the mid-range tape market leader but Quantum's DLT took that position over. When Ecrix merged with Exabyte a Mammoth 3 format was mooted. However, it has come to nothing and Exabyte has focussed on two formats: its own VXA format: the LTO Ultrium format which, in effect, replaces Mammoth.

Mammoth comes in 20 or 60GB capacities using AME (Advanced Metal Evaporated) media. When Mammoth 2 was launched a new type of AME media with SmartClean technology, was introduced. It includes a section of cleaning tape at the beginning of each data cartridge.

Mammoth-1 Mammoth-2
Raw Capacity 20GB 60GB
Compressed Capacity 40GB 156GB
Raw Transfer Rate 3MB/sec 12MB/sec
Compressed Transfer Rate 6MB/sec 31.2MB/sec
Date available 1985 1999

Mammoth-1 had a 2.0:1 compression ratio whereas Mammoth-2 had a quoted 2.6:1 ratio.

The LTO consortium came into being to provide a new mid-range tape format and provide competition to DLT which, it was perceived, had hit a slow down in its development. The HP, IBM and Seagate grouping claimed that LTO was more open that Quantum's DLT due to there being three suppliers.

As LTO began to make progress in the market Quantum replied with its Super DLT format and competition between the LTO and Super DLT formats is strong. There are four LTO generations, topping out at LTO 4 with 800GB raw capacity. IBM has demonstrated a terabyte of data on an Ultrium tape so the road to an LTO 5 format with a terabyte or more raw capacity seems predictable.

Originally there were two LTO formats. Ultrium came to the fore and now the terms LTO and Ultrium are synonymous.

Raw Capacity 100GB 200GB 400GB 800GB
Compressed Capacity 200GB 400GB 800GB 1.6TB
Raw Transfer Rate 10MB/sec 20M/sec 40MB/sec 80MB/sec
Compressed Transfer Rate 20MB/sec 40MB/sec 80MB/sec 160MB/sec

LTO 1 and LTO 2 are current. LTO 3 can be expected next year with LTO 4 coming 18-24 months after it. There is no formal roadmap beyond LTO 4.