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AIT-4 data storage format achieves world's highest areal density

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  • November 10, 2024

    by -- Sony of Canada

    Sony of Canada Ltd., Canada's leading
    supplier of electronic and computer products for consumers and business, today announced it is now shipping its fourth-generation Advanced Intelligent Tape(TM) (AIT-4) drives and media in volume.

    Offering 200 GB (gigabytes) of native storage capacity (520 GB with 6:1 compression) and a native data transfer rate of 24 MB/s (megabits per second), AIT-4 is based on a compact 3.5-inch drive form factor using 8mm media.

    AIT-4 media features an areal density of 1.17 Gb/inch(2), which is greater than any other magnetic tape media in the world. This remarkable areal density was achieved through a new tape formulation process, dubbed Advanced Metal Evaporated II (AME II).

    AIT marks a significant step for Sony and demonstrates our
    ongoing dedication to the AIT lineage," said Tim Algate, Product Manager, Storage Solutions, Broadcast Communication Solutions (BCS) Group, Sony of Canada

    "We serve as a one-stop shop for data media by offering tape cartridges for a broad range of formats, including all AIT technology generations, making us the only vendor that can maintain this level of commitment to our

    "The volume shipments of AIT-4 make Sony the only tape storage company to ship a total of four generations of drives and media from AIT-E Turbo to AIT-4 within the same format simultaneously," added Mr. Algate. "Sony AIT can
    now serve companies from the SMB to the midrange level, and it still leaves headroom for data growth."

    The high areal density of AIT-4 media, one of its great assets, is made possible through the use of Sony's newly-developed AME II technology. AME II improves upon its predecessor, AME, with a new method for applying the
    metal evaporated layer. This method, dubbed Super Oxidation, involves vaporizing the metal into small particles of around 5-7nm, and then depositing them onto the base film. The resulting AME II media realizes high output and low
    noise, as well as a smoother tape surface that minimizes the spacing loss between the magnetic head and the magnetic layer.

    Also new with AME II, and thus AIT-4, are an enforced coating layer and a new lubricant for lower friction and smooth operation.

    Major features of the product are as follows:

    - High Capacity and Performance - Up to a 200 GB native storage capacity (520 GB with 2.6:1 compression), and a native data transfer rate of 24MB/second;
    - Reliability - AIT-4 offers high accuracy and reliability in data recording at very high track densities, made possible through helical-scan recording technology. AIT-4's Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) is an impressive 400,000 hours at a 100 percent duty cycle;
    - Choice - Sony's AIT drives and media are the only format to ship four generations simultaneously, giving end-users a wide-ranging choice in capacity levels; and
    - Steadfast Roadmap - AIT-4 is the latest step in Sony's commitment to its customers by continuing to fulfill its extended AIT roadmap

    Sony-branded AIT-4 drives are currently available in volume at a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $4,999 for the internal model (AITi520/S) and $5,499 for the external model (AITe520/S). Additional models and configuration are also available. Sony-branded AIT-4 media arecurrently
    available at an MSRP of $105 per cartridge. Sony plans to ship specially marked AIT-4 WORM media cartridges in the next quarter.

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