DLT technology works with 1/2- inch tapes in cartridges on which the data is recorded linearly in a longitudinal track process. In contrast to all other linear processes, DLT technology works with only one reel. Here, the magnetic tape is loaded into the drive by means of a threading mechanism and wound onto a second tape reel, which is permanently installed in the tape drive
DLT drives store their data in fixed-size blocks in both running directions. The data blocks arechecked for errors using various error detection techniques such as parity checking, cyclic block checking(CRC) and error detection code( EDC). They have storage capacities of 40 gigabytes( GB), 70 GB and 80 GB of compressed data at data transfer rates of up to 10 MB/s
In addition to the classic DLT drives, there are also SDLT drives, which stands forSuper DLT Technology (SDLT). They achieve many times the storage capacities and data transfer rates mentioned. DLT-S4, for example, has a storage capacity of 1.6 terabytes( TB) and a data throughput of 120 MB/s. DLT drives with storage capacities of over 10 terabytes and more are also planned. Thus DLT-S7 with data transfer rates of 800 MB/s to 1000 MB/s.
DLT drives are suitable for applications with high operating times. The service life of the magnetic heads is specified at over 30,000 hours, and the number of tape passes at over 500,000.