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Sony DTF-2 Drive Zaps All Competitors.

If tape drives were cars, Sony's new DFT-2 tape drive would be something like a gasoline tanker with Ferrari performance. Designed for a more limited user base than DLT, LTO, or even AIT drives, the DFT-2 drive features native 24MB/sec performance (about four times the current native rate for top-of-the-line drives) and a native capacity of 200MB (twice the capacity of still unreleased Super DLT and Ultrium drives). The DTF-2 may be a compelling contender where capacity and performance are crucial. DTF refers to Sony's technology name--Digital Tape Format.

The drive will be available in UltraWide SCSI (model GY-8240UWD, available in February 2000) and native Fibre Channel (model GY-8240FC, available August 2000) versions. Compressed capacities are expected to exceed 500GB, according to the company. In addition to the SCSI or Fibre Interfaces, the drives will feature one Ethernet port and two RS232 ports for device monitoring and for connection to robotic controllers.

A flash device will be built into the top of the cartridge and will store tape contents and directory information. This information, combined with the drive's 1.4GB/sec search speed, will enable rapid location and retrieval of data anywhere on the tape.

The drive can read DTF-1 cartridges at the full 24MB/sec speed (double the native speed of the DTF-1). Additionally, the drive can accommodate a smaller-sized cartridge that resembles a VHS video cartridge with a 60GB native and estimated 155GB compressed capacity.

The Fibre Channel version will provide a burst transfer rate as high as 100MB/sec--2.5 times the 40MB/sec burst rate of the Ultra Wide version. Both drives will have the same 24MB/sec native transfer rates. Although the device may be something of overkill for a home office, such organizations as video production or broadcast companies, medical imaging, and companies active in e-commerce who need high capacity and rapid access will probably find this drive a compelling alternative to most other tape device offerings.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Hardware Review
Author:Brownstein, Mark
Publication:Computer Technology Review
Article Type:Evaluation
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Nov 1, 1999
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