The IBM designation for families of half-inch magnetic tape drives typically used on mainframes and AS/400s. The 3480 drives use 18-track cartridges at 38000 bpi to yield 200MB. The 3490 uses built-in compression to obtain 400MB. The 3490e records 36 tracks and uses longer tape to hold 800MB. Tape libraries are available that hold from a handful to thousands of cartridges.
The 3490 drives provide transfer rates of at least 3MB per second. Drives are available that use the ESCON and Fast SCSI-2 interfaces to obtain up to 20MB/sec.