Sony plans AIT-2
Not to be outdone by virtually every other midrange tape drive manufacturer, Sony Electronics last month unveiled plans for the second generation of its Advanced Intelligent Tape (AIT) technology. The announcement came on the heels of a number of tape-related product introductions, licensing agreements, and road maps, including those from Quantum, Overland Data, Tandberg, and the HP-IBM-Seagate troika (see "Tape Options Expand; Midrange Getting Crowded, "InfoStor, May).
Doubling the specs of AIT-1, Sony`s AIT-2 promises 50GB of native capacity and a native transfer rate of 6MBps. Production is expected by year-end, and the new drive will have a suggested list price of $4,995, according to Stephen Baker, director of tape streamer products at Sony. AIT-2 will be backward compatible with AIT-1, which was introduced about two years ago.
The doubled capacity is primarily due to the use of Hyper Metal laminate heads and longer tape. Like AIT-1, AIT-2 features Sony`s Memory-In-Cassette, which includes a 64Kb memory chip, that contains the tape`s system log, search map, and other user-definable information. The result: sharply reduced data access times.
Sony also previewed its DDS-4 tape technology, which is scheduled for production in January 1999. DDS-4 has a native capacity of 20GB and a transfer rate of 2MBps. The drives are expected to compete with similar drives from Hewlett-Packard and Seagate.