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Patent Application Titled "Rotary Head Data Storage and Retrieval System and Method with Tape Medium Having Transverse Primary Data Tracks and...

May 27, 2014



Patent Application Titled "Rotary Head Data Storage and Retrieval System and Method with Tape Medium Having Transverse Primary Data Tracks and Longitudinal Secondary Data Track" Published Online

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors Madison, Carl (Windsor, CO); Ostwald, Timothy C. (Boulder, CO), filed on November 7, 2012, was made available online on May 15, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Oracle International Corporation.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Typical tape data storage and retrieval methods involve recording or writing data in tracks running length-wise down the tape, as well as retrieving or reading such data tracks from the tape. A multiple stripe magnetic head is used to write and/or read many parallel tracks, with the ability to jog along the width of a magnetic tape to write and/or read more tracks. Optical tape data storage and retrieval systems using laser heads operate in a similar fashion.

"Magnetic and optical tape media are frequently used for long-term storage of large quantities of data, such as in data backup or archive operations. However, the multiple stripe head designs mentioned above become inefficient as tape length is increased for greater capacity, such as in archive operations, because of the increased time it takes to access the data stored at the end of the tape. While shorter tapes result in quicker access time than longer tapes, shorter tape lengths also result in more limited storage capacity, thereby hindering archive operations where large data quantities are involved. A wide tape to boost capacity requires many more transducers in the head. Data throughput is also a factor of tape width and the number of heads. Limits to multiple stripe head designs include the number of read and write heads and overall tape width.

"As noted, magnetic or optical heads write data in longitudinal tracks or series of spots running lengthwise down the tape media surface. Searching down the tape or 'seeking' data is accomplished using indexing information which facilitates high-speed motion down the tape to get to data that has been listed in an index or meta-data section on the recorded media. Existing recording methods have inherent inefficiencies in how the seeking is done. Data can be accessed only by positioning the tape to a required section at high speed and then slowing the tape down for reading, which causes multiple seconds of delay.

"Thus, there exists a need for an improved tape media data storage system and method. Such a system and method would include a rotary head design that would put more tape surface area in contact with the heads. A vast improvement in seek time, and improved seek time vs. data capacity would be achieved by using a rotating head which writes primary data in tracks running transverse to the length of a tape and simultaneously writes secondary tracks running longitudinally down the length of the tape for search indexing information, for example 'data tags'.

"Using a tape having a greater width in proportion to tape length would enable a large amount of data to be stored in tracks across the tape while allowing additional search information to be written in one or more stripes lengthwise along one or both edges of the media. Such a system and method would also advantageously use the wide tape to provide an indexing scheme written longitudinally down the tape, which could be used for high-speed seek and/or search while skipping past the actual primary data tracks."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "According to one embodiment disclosed herein, a data storage and retrieval system is provided. The system comprises a head carriage unit having a plurality of optical heads disposed at a working surface. The head carriage unit is adapted for rotational motion. The system further comprises a tape drive unit for use in moving an optical tape media having a length and a width. The drive unit is configured to move the tape past the working surface of the head carriage unit in a direction substantially parallel to the length of the tape.

"In this embodiment, the plurality of heads are configured to perform one of writing a plurality of primary data tracks to and reading a plurality of primary data tracks from the tape as the head carriage unit rotates and the tape moves past the working surface, each primary data track having an arcuate shape and extending substantially along the width of the tape. The plurality of heads are further configured to perform one of writing at least one secondary data track to and reading at least one secondary data track from the tape as the head carriage unit rotates and the tape moves past the working surface, the secondary data track extending substantially along the length of the tape.

"According to another embodiment, data storage and retrieval system comprising a head carriage unit having a plurality of heads disposed at a working surface, the head carriage unit adapted for rotational motion. The system further comprises a tape drive unit for moving a tape media having a length and a width, the tape width approximately equal to a width of the working surface of the head carriage unit. The drive unit is configured to move the tape past the working surface of the head carriage unit in a direction substantially parallel to the length of the tape.

"In this embodiment, the plurality of heads are configured to perform one of writing a plurality of primary data tracks to and reading a plurality of primary data tracks from the tape as the head carriage unit rotates and the tape moves past the working surface, each primary data track having an arcuate shape and extending substantially along the width of the tape. The plurality of heads are further configured to perform one of writing at least one secondary data track to and reading at least one secondary data track from the tape as the head carriage unit rotates and the tape moves past the working surface, the secondary data track extending substantially along the length of the tape.

"According to another embodiment disclosed herein, a data storage and retrieval method is provided. The method comprises rotating a head carriage unit having a plurality of optical heads disposed at a working surface, and moving an optical tape media having a length and a width past the working surface of the head carriage unit in a direction substantially parallel to the length of the tape. The method also comprises using the plurality of optical heads to perform one of writing a plurality of primary data tracks to and reading a plurality of primary data tracks from the tape as the head carriage unit rotates and the tape moves past the working surface, each primary data track having an arcuate shape and extending substantially along the width of the tape. The method further comprises using the plurality of optical heads to perform one of writing at least one secondary data track to and reading at least one secondary data track from the tape as the head carriage unit rotates and the tape moves past the working surface, the secondary data track extending substantially along the length of the tape.

"A detailed description of these embodiments and accompanying drawings is set forth below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a rotary head data storage and retrieval system;

"FIG. 2 is a top view of an embodiment of a data storage and retrieval system disclosed herein;

"FIG. 3 is a side view of an embodiment of a data storage and retrieval system disclosed herein; and

"FIG. 4 is a simplified flowchart depicting an embodiment of a data storage and retrieval method disclosed herein."

For more information, see this patent application: Madison, Carl; Ostwald, Timothy C. Rotary Head Data Storage and Retrieval System and Method with Tape Medium Having Transverse Primary Data Tracks and Longitudinal Secondary Data Track. Filed November 7, 2012 and posted May 15, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=157&p=4&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140508.PD.&OS=PD/20140508&RS=PD/20140508

Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology, Information and Data Storage, Oracle International Corporation.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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