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History (1992): Sony Reveals Faster 12-Inch WORM Optical Drive

And small autochanger

Sony Corporation of America (ParkRidge, NJ) has revealed 2 new products based on 12-inch WORM disks: the WDD-931 is a faster drive with a 900KB/s sustained transfer rate; the WDA-E330 is an entry-level jukebox storing up to 78.6GB on 12 disks and loading cartridges in 3s.

Sony Od

This jukebox measures 56(W)x70(H)x91.5cm(D) and MTBF is 20,000 hours.

Sony Jb

The cost per megabyte for this mini-autochanger is approximately 56 cents per megabyte, including jukebox, drive and media. The cost per megabyte for comparable 12-inch write-once autochangers is in the 80 to 90 cents range, while 5.25-inch write once jukeboxes generally fall between 60 and 70 cents per megabyte,” said Sony.

The price of the new WDA-E330 was not announced at the last AIIM, but the French subsidiary of Sony in Paris, France, said that this jukebox will be available in October for FF390,000 and one disk will cost FF3,500.

This autochanger uses the new WDD-931 WORM drive (FF160,000) with the same capacity of 6.55GB on both faces of the media but with a better transfer rate (900KB/s vs. 600KB/s on the preceding model) and reliability (8,000 to 15,000 power-on-hour MTBF).

This unit uses new proprietary LSI circuitry and the embedded controller supports SCSI-2 interface. It features a 8MB DRAM, 4MB RAM, a 258KB read-ahead cache, and alternation memory for storing data that is relocated on the disk during the write operation to enable read without interruption.

It can be mounted in a 19-inch rack space and has an automatic and user-definable laser save function which extends the life of the laser.

This article is an abstract of news published on the former paper version of Computer Data Storage Newsletter on issue ≠54, published on July 1992.