Sony storage roadmap sees DDS out

Plans to squash 1Tb into 8mm using AIT

Sony Electronics has unveiled a ten-year roadmap for its Advanced Intelligent Technology (AIT), which includes plans to ditch any further development of Digital Data Storage (DDS) technology.

The company expects its next generation AIT-3 drives to be on the market in the third quarter of this year. These drives will offer up to 100GB (260GB with compression) per cartridge, and a 12MB per second transfer rate (31MB per second) for around $4,000.

It also plans to increase this capacity to 800GB before the end of the decade, and then to "eventually" squash one terabyte of storage into the 8mm form-factor. It says it has increased the recording density of magnetic tapes by more than 32 times since AIT technology made an appearance in 1996.

"Sony is committed to maintaining the AIT technology leadership by doubling capacity and data transfer rate about every two years," said John Woelbern, director of tape streamer OEM marketing for Sony Electronics Core Technology Solutions Company.

"The current AIT-2 products and soon-to-be-released AIT-3, together with a demonstrated roadmap to AIT-6 clearly shows Sony's ability to execute to the roadmap, validates the scalability of AIT and demonstrates Sony's continued strong investment in this technology."

Meanwhile, Sony has ditched plans to develop any new DDS technology.

The DDS technology was a joint effort between Sony, Hewlett-Packard and Seagate, but these three have decided not to develop DDS-5 (DDS 1 to 4 have so far been developed). They claim they will support existing DDS customers for as long as necessary.

Sony is recommending DDS customers switch to AIT, which is its own technology.

It recommends AIT-1 as the transition from DDS to AIT (35GB, and transfer rate of up to 4MB per second). It is also promising to throw in a copy of NovaStor's TapeCopy software with its AIT drives so customers can upgrade back-up tapes. ®

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