Editorial Cartoon

Sony weighs in on tape life

A Sony Electronics' Advanced Intelligent Tape drive and its corresponding media cartridge were recently reviewed ['Backup, storage units have a hold on data' GCN, Sept. 24, Page 40]. Sony Storage Solutions Division thinks the review contained inaccuracies and misleading comments. It stated [that] AIT cartridges 'are designed primarily to hold video or audio and are somewhat less durable than the other formats, despite holding more media.'

Actually, Sony's cartridges are not primarily used for storing audio-video and are more durable than competitive formats. As mentioned in the article, AIT is based on helical-scan recording technology. The characteristics of helical scan include its gentle tape motion, air bearing tape wrap and very low tension. Together with the exceptional durability of Advanced Metal Evaporated media, AIT achieves the durability standards required in high duty-cycle applications.

In the scoring section of the article, AIT is labeled as 'Unreliable as DLT drive,' but there is no supporting information in the article about why. Published specifications show that the Sony AIT-2 drive has a mean time between failure of 300,000 hours at a 100 percent duty cycle. The media durability for AIT-2 is specified at 30,000. In both cases, the Sony specification and reliability is significantly higher than the competition referenced.


Marketing manager

Sony Electronics Inc.

San Jose, Calif.

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