Sony Delivers Fifth Generation AIT Format

New AIT-5 Doubles Storage Capacity While Providing Backwards Compatibility

LONG BEACH, Calif., Storage World Conference, Booth #118

Sony Electronics has expanded its Advanced Intelligent Tapeā„¢ (AIT) format to a fifth-generation, doubling the capacity of the previous generation to 400 GB while delivering backwards compatibility.

Offering a compact 3.5-inch drive form factor and a small 8mm media cassette, AIT-5 is the smallest tape technology to offer massive native capacity of 400 GB and sustained native transfer rate of up to 24 MB/second. With 2.6:1 data compression, the AIT-5 format will also enable stored capacity of up to 1.04 TB per cartridge and 225GB/hr performance.

The new format is backward read/write compatible with AIT-3, AIT-3Ex and AIT-4 media protecting businesses which have invested in these previous generations. AIT-5 also features ultra-low power, Magnetic Resistive Head, Dynamic Tracking, and WORM recording capabilities.

"AIT-5 demonstrates our commitment to an aggressive product roadmap to double storage capacity from one AIT generation to the next," said Alan Sund, general manager for Sony Electronics' Tape Storage Division. "Our goal is to provide an extensive range of AIT products that are scalable through multiple generations and interface options, providing maximum choice and flexibility."

The AIT-5 format will be implemented as internal and external drives available through tape automation OEMs, white box developers and Sony-branded storage solutions including the LIB-81 and LIB-162 slim rack-mount tape libraries.

Evaluation AIT-5 drives and media are shipping to OEM partners next month, while volume OEM shipments are scheduled for this fall. Sony-branded AIT-5 drive and autoloader models will also ship this fall.

                      Sony AIT-5 / Industry Response

  Analyst Response

"AIT's compatible suite of drives delivers effective backup, archiving and recovery to companies of all sizes," said Bob Abraham, president of Freeman Reports. "The format's high reliability and high capacity make it a viable choice to handle a wide gamut of storage needs."

"The affordable price point of tape continues to make it an ideal solution for backup and archival storage," said Fara Yale, research vice president at Gartner Dataquest. "Compliance requirements for many public and private organizations mandate the storage of critical company data on non-alterable media providing tape vendors with an opportunity to help these organizations handle their growing storage needs."

AIT OEM Response

"AIT-5's speed and capacity are a compelling combination that will help meet today's growing storage demands," said Bob Covey, vice president of marketing for Qualstar. "We look forward to delivering AIT-5 to our TLS- and RLS-Series tape library customers."

"Form factor, capacity, and the high reliability rating in the industry make Sony's AIT the best of breed solution for tape backup in our hot plug and D2D2T solutions," said Steve Stallman, president of Cybernetics. "Real estate is always important in the server room, and the backup density of AIT-5 enables us to deliver exceptional capacity in a blade thin format."

"Sony has developed a broad range of tools and incentives to help us grow the AIT business," said Nathan Thompson, chief executive officer of Spectra Logic Corporation. "Working together we have a wide array of warranty programs, technical support and training available to help us succeed in winning deals."

SOURCE: Sony Electronics Inc.

CONTACT: Jon Piazza of Sony Electronics Inc., +1-858-942-3825,; or Kim Fleischman of The Hoffman Agency,
+1-303-327-5480,, for Sony Electronics Inc.

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