Quantum has been granted a patent for a tape drive in a tape library that includes a media conditioner to condition magnetic tape within a cartridge. The media conditioner can remove abrasives, contaminants, and lubricants, with rollers having modified coatings to facilitate tape movement. GlobalData’s report on Quantum gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Quantum, MPEG media transport processing was a key innovation area identified from patents. Quantum's grant share as of February 2024 was 84%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Tape drive with media conditioner for magnetic tape conditioning

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Quantum Corp

A newly granted patent (Publication Number: US11929092B2) discloses a tape drive designed for use in a tape library, specifically for retaining tape cartridges containing magnetic tape. The tape drive includes a drive housing that receives the tape cartridge and a media conditioner coupled to the housing. The media conditioner is responsible for conditioning the magnetic tape within the cartridge, achieved through a modified roller with a unique outer coating that aids in the conditioning process. The conditioning involves the removal of abrasives, contaminants, and lubricants present on the magnetic tape when inserted into the drive housing.

Furthermore, the tape drive features a drive controller that manages the operation of the device, controlling the lateral tape speed as it moves along a predefined path within the housing. This path is defined by rollers positioned strategically within the drive. The patent also details a braking mechanism within the media conditioner that slows down the rotation of the modified roller, generating a magnetic field to produce eddy currents for braking force. The roller body is made of conductive materials like aluminum or copper, while the outer coating comprises substances like diamond, silica, or aluminum oxide. Additionally, the tape drive includes a head assembly for reading and writing data on the magnetic tape, with a debris remover to clean any generated debris from the conditioning process. The patent also covers a method for conditioning the magnetic tape within the tape cartridge using the described media conditioner when inserted into the drive housing.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.