Sony Electronics is shipping its fifth generation of Advanced Intelligent TapeTM (AIT) drives and automation solutions to commercial and OEM distribution channel partners in South Asia and Africa.

With a compact 3.5-inch drive form-factor, AIT-5 technology is the industry’s first tape-based technology to offer up to 400Gb of native capacity (up to 1,04Tb with 2.6:1 compression based on the ALDC algorithm) in a single 8mm media cartridge.

AIT-5 drives are read and write backward compatible with standard read/write as well as WORM AIT-4, AIT-3Ex and AIT-3 media, so users can smoothly migrate to the higher capacity of AIT-5 storage solutions without losing access to, or compatibility with, data recorded on these previous generations of media.

For an added level of data protection, AIT-5 drives are multi-functional and support Write Once, Read Many capability when using AIT WORM media.

“Sony’s commitment to our AIT customers is further demonstrated with the latest AIT-5 solutions, which sets a new standard for capacity, reliability and value. We now offer the widest range of both OEM and Sony-branded AIT-5 products, including internal drives, external drives, as well as desktop and slim 1U and 2U rack-mountable automation solutions,” says Edmund Tan, product manager: enterprise storage solutions, Applications & Devices Marketing Singapore.

Sony has worked closely with independent software vendors to test and certify compatibility of AIT-5 based products to ensure wide support and full interoperability with industry-leading backup and archival applications.

“The AIT format is evolving in tandem with the growing needs of both small to mid-sized business users, as well as enterprise customers,” says Edmund. “AIT-5 is now the highest-density tape drive in the world, enabling our customers to benefit from high capacities with fewer tapes, whilst ensuring compatibility for previous generations. With energy consumption up to 40% less than competing formats, AIT-5 offers lower costs with exceptional reliability to meet the most demanding performance requirements.”

AIT-5 technology is characterized by industry-leading data density, high capacity, helical-scan recording, a new media formulation with Advanced Metal Evaporated III tape, a Remote-Memory-In-Cassette chip, advanced MR head technology, Dynamic Tracking and WORM functionality.

Sony AIT-5 tape technology is available from Intellistor (