Sony Electronics today announced the availability of its third-generation Advanced Intelligent Tape(TM) (AIT-3) drives, and Sony AIT-3 media cartridges. Sony said AIT-3 doubles the capacity and performance of AIT technology over the previous generation, and is read/write compatible with previous generations of AIT drives.
The new AIT-3 tape drives offer 100GB of uncompressed capacity (260GB with 2.6:1 compression) and a 12MB/sec sustained uncompressed transfer rate (28MB/sec with 2.6:1 compression) in a compact 3.5-inch form factor.
Sony said volume shipments of AIT-3 drives will begin in late November with general availability of Sony-branded drives through commercial distributors, value-added resellers (VARs) and system integrators by December, at a suggested retail price of under $4,000. AIT-3 media will also be available at the same time for a suggested retail price of about $100 per cartridge.
Sony's AIT roadmap extends to a sixth-generation version with a native capacity of 800GB.