There are many different types of tape your drive may use. Some of the newest and/or most popular are briefly described below.
Advanced Intelligent Tape uses 8mm rotary head helical scan tape technology. AIT's mechanical emphasis is on low tape tension to improve head and tape reliability by reducing wear. AIT employs AME tape which contains no metal particles and has a carbon coating. This was the first tape drive to have a memory in cassette (MIC) device to speed up file access.
Digital AudioTape is a digital magnetic tape format developed originally for audio recording. DAT also uses a helical scan format; Its proper name is "R-DAT", where "R" for rotary distinguishes it from "S-DAT", an earlier stationary design. Most computer DAT recorders use DDS format (a more recent DAT storage format), which is the same as audio DAT. It is not always possible to read tapes from one system on the other.
DLT technology addresses mid-range to high-end backup requirements. DLT uses a serpentine recording pattern with 1/2" tape, housed in a compact cartridge format. DLT powers a transfer rate of over 5MB per second.
The Ultrium format was introduced as the high capacity implementation of LTO technology. This tape format was optimized for high capacity and performance, as well as for reliability. The Ultrium format uses a single-reel tape cartridge which maximizes capacity, making it ideal for backup and archiving.