|QIC Tapes||Back to Top|
The QIC tape data storage format was first introduced by 3M in 1972. The QIC tape media is packaged in a rather rugged enclosed package of aluminum and plastic that holds two tape reels driven by belts. The tape is one quarter inch (1/4") wide, works in a linear format and can be anywhere from 300 to 1500 feet long. There is a QIC trade association that publishes QIC standards. These standards include tape that is wider or narrower than 1/4 inch, as well as interfaces and logical formats. Using a belt drive means that the speed at which the belt was moved was equal to the speed at which the tape would move. This is in contrast to cassette tapes or DATs, which rely on spindles in the reels and which vary tape speed as the amount of tape on the reels changes. It also means that no tension is ever put on the tape: the belt is in contact with both reels, so the tape should maintain a neutral tension at all times. The design of the QIC tape cartridge is very robust: the aluminum and plastic case is an eighth of an inch thick all around and can withstand abuse and impacts that will often damage other tape formats.