Travan is a linear magnetic tape product developed by the 3M Company. The product primarily competes against DDS (Digital Data Storage), AIT (advanced intelligent tape), and VXA tape formats. The technology uses an 8mm wide tape that is 750' long. Travan first appeared in the 1990s and was quickly standardized by the Quarter Inch Cartridge (QIC) Consortium for its easy adaptability, good performance and relatively large storage potential.

Since its introduction, eight different iterations of the Travan cartridge have appeared. Travan TR-1 cartridges use QIC-80 media to provide 400 MB of uncompressed capacity at 0.25 MB/s. The TR-2 cartridge doubles that capacity to 800 MB (uncompressed) on QIC-3010 media at 0.25 MB/s. The TR-3 cartridge doubles capacity again to 1.6 GB (uncompressed) QIC-3020 media, and doubles data transfers to 0.5 MB/s. Travan TR-4 offers 4 GB of uncompressed capacity on QIC-3095 media.

More recently, an 8 GB version offers 4 GB of uncompressed capacity once again, but increases transfer rates to 1.2 MB/s. Another variation uses NS8 cartridges with 4 GB of native capacity with 1.2 MB/s transfer rates. The Travan NS20 format provides 10 GB of uncompressed capacity at 2 MB/s transfer rates. The latest 40 GB cartridge offers up to 20 GB of uncompressed capacity with 4 MB/s transfer rates.

This was first published in August 2006

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