Advanced Intelligent Tape

Advanced Intelligent Tape (AIT) is a discontinued high-speed, high-capacity magnetic tape data storage format developed and controlled by Sony. It competed mainly against the DLT, LTO, DAT/DDS, and VXA formats. AIT uses a cassette similar to Video8. Super AIT (SAIT) is a higher capacity variant using wider tape in a larger, single-spool cartridge. Both AIT and SAIT use the helical scan method of reading and writing the tape.

AIT tapes.

Form factors

AIT technology was available in two form factors.

In March 2010, Sony announced the discontinuation of the AIT product line, and renewed collaboration with Hewlett-Packard on further development of the DDS tape format,[1]


One of the most compelling features of the AIT format is that many generations are both backwards and forwards compatible. This allows multiple generations of tape drives to both read and write to multiple generations of tape media.

AIT generations

Generation AIT-E Turbo AIT-1 AIT-1 Turbo AIT-2 AIT-2 Turbo
Release Date 2004 1996 2004 1999
Native Capacity (GB) 20 25, 35 40 36, 50 80
Max Speed (MB/s) 6 3, 4 6 6 12
Encoding Trellis-coding for Partial Response (TCPR)
Tape Length (m) 170, 230 170, 230
Tape Thickness (µm)



Generation AIT-3 AIT-3Ex AIT-4 AIT-5 AIT-6
Release Date 2001 2006 2005 2006 cancelled
Native Capacity (GB) 100 150 200 400 800
Max Speed (MB/s) 12 18 24 24
Encoding Extended TC-PRML Turbo-coded modulation Turbo-coded modulation
Tape Length (m) 230 246 246
Tape Thickness (µm)




SAIT generations

Comparison of "supertape" capacities, including SAIT.
Generation SAIT-1 SAIT-2 SAIT-3 SAIT-4
Release Date 2003 2006 cancelled cancelled
Native Capacity (GB) 500 800 2000 4000
Max Speed (MB/s) 30 45 120 240
Tape Length (m) 600 640
Tape Thickness (µm) 8.6


The AIT format was developed and is controlled by Sony.


Released in 2006 by Sony, available only in libraries, 800 GB native and 45 MB/s sustained transfer rate.[3]


Technical features


Advance Metal Evaporated is a different formulation of tape media.


Memory in Cassette Memory chip in the cartridge that keeps relevant information about the tape.


Remote - Memory in Cassette Like MIC except it does not require physical contact.


Write Once Read Many functionality, useful for archive keeping.


  2. "Sony announces availability of its fifth generation tape drive and media in celebrating 10 years of AIT" (PDF) (Press release). Sony. September 27, 2006. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-15.
  3. "SAIT2-800". Sony. Retrieved 2007-01-30.

External links

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