Sony Ships 1.3TB Super AIT Drives

Sony is now shipping the drvies to automated library makers, with end-user availability slated for this spring.

Sony Electronics Inc. is now shipping terabyte-capacity Super AIT cartridges to automated library makers, with end-user availability slated to begin this spring.

Sony announced the reseller shipments yesterday at the AIT Forum, in San Francisco. The latest advanced intelligent tape format holds a half-terabyte natively or 1.3TB compressed, and transfers data at 30MB natively or 78MB per second compressed, officials in San Jose, Calif. first announced last year.

The new drives connect into libraries with either SCSI Ultra 160 or 2Gbps Fibre Channel, Sony officials said. They include a 72MB buffer and have embedded microchips for read/write functions. Incrementally to 2006, the S-AIT roadmap includes future generations with 1TB uncompressed capacity at 60MBps, 2TB at 120MBps, and 4TB at 240MBps.

Qualstar Corp. will ship the new tapes in April with four versions of the new TLS-5000 library, officials of the Simi Valley, Calif., company said. The models are the 5433 and 5466, with four bays and 33 or 66 tapes, and the 58132 and 58264, with eight bays and 132 or 264 tapes. The 5433 edition starts at $30,000, officials said. Pricing for the other models was not available.

Sony itself will ship S-AIT in its 100TB PetaSite libraries, in June, said Steve Baker, vice president of tape storage solutions. Pricing for that isnt yet announced, he said.