Sony Previews S-AIT Tape

Sony Corp. has unveiled the next generation of its AIT data storage tape. The tape should hit the market by the end of 2002.

The new S-AIT offers 500GB capacity in a single-reel tape. Using native compression, a tape will be able to hold as much as 1.3TB. The drives use an extended 5.25-inch form factor. When the product hits the market, Sony anticipates transfer rates will be around 30MB/sec uncompressed and 78MB/sec with compression.

Sony and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic) will both manufacture drives, and a number of vendors are expected to manufacture media. S-AIT will compete with other midrange tape platforms such as SuperDLT, Mammoth 2, and LTO Ultrium.