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Wednesday, July 16, 2008
HP and Sony to Create New Digital Audio Tape Format

HP and Sony will jointly create the next-generation Digital Audio Tape format - the DAT 320 - providing improved performance and capacity over existing DAT drives.

HP and Sony are jointly developing the DAT or Digital Data Storage (DDS) standard, but will separately offer their own DAT 320 tape drives and cartridges. Similar to previous generations of DAT/DDS, the DAT 320 will be an open standard, which ensures partners can continue to obtain license rights.

"The DAT 320 offers customers and partners a data protection solution that delivers unmatched performance and capacity," said Bob Wilson, vice president and general manager, Storage Platforms Division, HP.

Tapes are used by small and midsize businesses as well as enterprises with remote offices to archive and back up data.

The DAT 320 offers a backup speed of up to 86 gigabytes (GB) per hour with 2:1 data compression, and a maximum capacity of 320 GB on a single cartridge - compared with 160 GB, available from the current DAT 160 format. The DAT 320 also will consume fewer watts per GB than previous generations and will be backwards compatible with the DAT 160.

HP and Sony will offer the same base hardware for the DAT 320, but will develop unique features within the firmware configuration to sell the DAT 320 tape drives and media through their own branded and OEM business channels.

More information about models, configurations, feature sets and prices will be announced by the companies separately. General availability is expected in 2009.

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