This International Standard specifies the physical and magnetic characteristics of a magnetic tape cartridge, using a magnetic tape 12,7 mm wide, so as to provide physical interchange of such cartridges between drives.
It also specifies the quality of the recorded signals, the recording method and the recorded format known as Parallel Serpentine, thereby allowing data interchange between drives by means of such cartridges.
The format supports variable length Logical Records, high speed search, and the use of the algorithm for data compression specified in International Standard ISO/IEC 15200. Information interchange between systems also requires, at a minimum, agreement between the interchange parties upon the interchange code(s) and the specification of the structure and labelling of the information on the interchanged cartridge.
Together with a standard for volume and file structure, e.g. International Standard ISO 1001, this International Standard provides for full data interchange between data processing systems.