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Definition: 8mm tape

An 8mm-wide magnetic tape technology that is used in analog and digital camcorders (see Hi8) and in data applications. Exabyte Corporation enhanced the international 8mm format established in 1984 and turned it into a high-performance digital storage device in 1987. The cartridges held 2.5GB, a breakthrough for the time.

The Mammoth Brand
In 1996, Exabyte introduced the Mammoth drive, a capstan-less version of its 8mm line, which initially supported AME-based 20GB cartridges and earlier MP-based cartridges. The lack of capstan reduces wear on the tape, because the capstan has to press against the medium to move it. Mammoth-2 later increased capacity to 60GB. Tape libraries hold from 500GB to more than 1TB.

Imation Became the Sales Outlet
Exabyte, which used to sell its products direct and through OEMs, signed an exclusive, worldwide distribution agreement with Imation Corporation in late 2003. The alliance included an equity investment in Exabyte. See magnetic tape and helical scan.

Mammoth Cartridge
The storage capacities may be "mammoth," but the cartridges are smaller than a deck of playing cards.

Helical Scan Formats
These are the helical scan tape formats used for computer storage. See helical scan.