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Seagate Elevates DAT Technology To New Level With 24 Gbyte DDS-3 Drive


Seagate Technology, Inc. reinforced its commitment to the Digital Audio Tape (DAT) market by announcing plans to ship the STD124000N, a new drive based on Digital Data Storage-3 (DDS-3) technology, allowing up to 24 Gbytes of storage on each DDS-3 tape. The company is also manufacturing a new generation DDS-2 DAT drive, the STD18000N, with several notable design innovations leveraged from the new DDS-3 drive including improved performance and reduced power consumption.

Seagate's new DDS-3 drive expands the envelope of DAT technology, with triple the capacity and up to twice the speed of the company's DDS-2 products, making it a logical upgrade for DDS-2 customers. The STD124000N stores a native capacity of up to 12 Gbytes and a hardware compressed capacity of up to 24 Gbytes. The drive achieves data transfer rates up to 2.2 Mbytes per second and is fully read and write compatible with DDS-2 and DDS-1 media.

"Our design team implemented several innovations when they created our new DDS-3 tape drive, including higher-performance heads and improved read-channel performance, improved self-cleaning, energy saving features and fewer electronic components," said Michael Huntley, senior vice president and general manager for Seagate Tape Operations. "In developing the first DAT products under Seagate management, we've followed our successful disc drive business model, leveraging design and technology to provide leading products for our customers."

Seagate's STD124000N is fully compatible with all DDS-1, DDS-2 and DDS-3 tapes. Established by the Digital Data Storage Manufacturers Group, DDS-3 tape uses advanced Metal Particle media (MP++) and records at twice the linear bit density of DDS-2. Because it incorporates a ceramic layer that coats each magnetic particle to provide protection from oxidation, DDS-3 media is also more durable. The dual-coating in the DDS-3 media provides an extremely thin magnetic layer which greatly improves overwrite and distortion performance. This disc-like technology is available on tape for the first time.

"Qualification times should be swift for both of these drives," said Brian Dexheimer, vice president of Product Line Management and Marketing. "Our OEM customers will appreciate how we've streamlined the hardware they've been using and the way we've leveraged our new DDS-2 design from our DDS-3 model. Testing procedures for both new drives should be similar, saving the customer time, and making it easy for them to migrate from DDS-2 to DDS-3. Both drives feature 50 percent fewer electronic components for increased drive reliability. They are also energy savers with a 42 percent reduction in power consumption resulting in lower thermal dissipation."

Seagate's new DDS-2 model, the STD18000N, is up to 37 percent faster than the company's previous 8 Gbyte model with data transfer rates of up to 1.1 Mbyte per second. This performance increase can be attributed to engineering breakthroughs that allow the drive's helical scan head to efficiently read and write data as it spins at a faster rate of 6000 RPM compared to the previous rate of 4400 RPM.

"We listened to a number of our customers who told us they were looking for more robust self-cleaning in their drives," said Kevin Perry, director of volume product marketing. "Our design team developed an improved self-cleaning device that reduces end-user maintenance and provides higher reliability. We accomplished this with innovative cleaning mechanisms and activation algorithms."

Seagate DAT drives use a Fast SCSI-2 interface and are available in 3.5-inch, 5.25-inch and external form factors. Seagate also offers an autoloader solution, the 4586NP, capable of storing up to 96 Gbytes of data on 12 DDS-2 cassettes. All Seagate DAT products are backed by a two-year warranty.

"Because of its well-established reputation for reliability, compatibility and performance, DAT is the backup solution of choice for many customers, especially in the OEM server market where Seagate is the clear leader," continued Perry. "DAT's read-after-write technology and hardware data compression features give DAT the speed and reliability necessary for the high-end server environment."

Seagate's new drives are expected to be available in first quarter of 1997. Pre-sales support is available at 1-800-626-6637.

Seagate Tape Operations offers a complete line of minicartridge and Digital Audio Tape (DAT) tape drive products for DOS, OS/2, Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows 3.x, UNIX and NetWare systems, plus DEC, IBM, Apple, Sun and other platforms.


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