USB-Compatible Tape Cartridge with Auxiliary Solid-State Flash-Memory
Original Publication Date: 2008-Nov-11
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Nov-11
A tape cartridge has a large solid-state flash-memory which is accessible by a USB compatible connector which wraps around the back and bottom of the tape cartridge. This wrap-around feature allows either picker compression connector or drive compression connector to independently (but not simultaneously) access the solid-state flash-memory. This independent access allows the robotic picker to write large amounts of data to the solid-state cartridge-memory. The robotic picker need only press the picker compression connector against wrap-around USB-compatible connectors and write to the memory of cartridge, or read directly from the memory of the cartridge for data still resident in the memory.
USB-Compatible Tape Cartridge with Auxiliary Solid -State Flash-Memory
Figures 1 and 2 show tape cartridge 100 comprising cartridge body 101 and a door 106 from which tape exits the tape cartridge for reading and writing data in the tape drive (not shown). Figure 1 shows that tape cartridge enters the tape drive along direction 107. Tape cartridge 100 may have a wirelessly accessible cartridge memory 103 on printed circuit board (PCB) 105.
Flash Memory 120
Figure 1. Top Isometric-View of Tape Cartridge
However, tape cartridge 100 also has a large solid-state flash-memory 120 which is accessible by a USB compatible connector 116 which wraps around the back and bottom of tape cartridge 100. This wrap-around feature allows either picker compression connector 114 or drive compression connector 112 to independently (but not simultaneously) access solid-state flash-memory 120. This independent access allows the robotic picker to write large amounts of data to solid-state cartridge-memory 120, which may be 256 GB in size or larger. The robotic picker need only press picker compression connector 114 against wrap-around USB-compatible connectors 116 and write to memory 120 of cartridge 100, or read directly from memory 120 of cartridge 100 for data still resident in memory 120.
Once mounted in the tape drive, drive compression connector 112 engages wrap-around USB-compatible connectors 116 and data can be read from memory 120 and written to the magnetic tape. This mounting in a tape drive would occur when the amount of written data exceeded the size of memory 120 or the data needed to be read was not resident in memory 120.
In an alternative embodiment to USB, the electrical interface may alternately comprise SAS (serial attached SCSI), SATA, iSCSI, FC, FCoE, GbEN, and Infiniband.
Tape Cartridge 100
Wrap-around USB-Compatible Connectors 116
Figure 2. Bottom Isometric-View of Tape Cartridge
Process 300, Figures 3A and 3B, begins at step 302 and proceeds to step 304, where the picker goes to cartridge 100 in the storage slot of the library and accesses the directory in solid state memory 120. The process then flows to decision step 306, where the decision is made whether to mount cartridge 100 into a drive. If the answer is no, because (a) the read workload is all contained in solid state memory 120 and/or (b) there is room in solid state memory 120 for the write workload, the process flows to step 308, where the picker reads all desired files from solid state memory 120 without moving cartridge 100. Then, the process flows to step 310, where the picker writes all desired files to solid state memory 120 without moving cartridge 100, and then the process concludes at step 340 without ever having moved cartridge 100 to the drive o...