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Super Digital Linear Tape (SDLT) is a higher capacity variant of the Digital Linear Tape standard, a magnetic tape format developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) back in the 1980s that became the industry standard for mid-range NT and UNIX system archive and backup applications. An SDLT variant that originally had 110 GB of storage capacity was launched in 2001.
Super Digital Linear Tape technology is based on laser-guided magnetic recording (LGMR) technology. It uses a combination of optical and magnetic technologies to dramatically increase the number of recording tracks present on the surface of the tape media. The optical servo system reads the servo patterns on the tape's back in order to keep the data tracks on the tape's front correctly aligned with the read/write heads.
SDLT supports hardware data compression and is fully backward compatible with regular DLT cartridges, being able to write to and read from them; however, it writes data in SDLT 220 format, as is the case with the SDLT 320 tape drive.