TDK will start selling new 400GB data storage cartridges based on the LTO (Linear Tape-Open) Ultrium 3 format in Japan and elsewhere from the middle of November.

The cartridges have can transfer data at a rate of 80Mbps (megabits per second). The price in Japan will be equivalent to around £126 per cartridge, according to Nobuyuki Koike, a company spokesman. TDK was not ready to discuss pricing outside of Japan.

The storage media contains tape with a width of 12.65mm and has 704 recording tracks. It maintains a low error rate up to 25,000 reads/writes, according to the company.

The product is the first to pass certification testing by the CVE (Compliance Verification Entity), the organisation certifying LTO standardisation.

LTO is a consortium comprising Certance, HP and IBM, which collectively agree upon LTO Ultrium standards. LTO tape is considered a "super tape" format and competes with Quantum's SDLT (super digital linear tape) and Sony's S-AIT (super advanced intelligent tape) formats.

TDK also plans to sell a write-once type cartridge, but is not saying when, according to Koike.