In May 1994 NEC announced the N7646 cartridge-based magnetic tape unit, which could house up to 350 half-inch magnetic tape cartridges each with an average capacity of about 200 MB.
The average capacity per cartridge at the time had reached about 600 MB with the use of data compression and auto-blocking functions. Thus, the N7646, while taking up less than one square meter of floor space, realized a maximum storage capacity of 210 GB — suitable for small-scale computer systems — when equipped with its full complement of 350 cartridges. It also attained channel data transfer speeds as fast as 3 MB per second. The N7646 housed up to four magnetic tape processing units, a media loading mechanism for automatic unmanned operation, and a controller mechanism.
The autoloader mechanism selected cartridges according to instructions from the host device and transported them to the magnetic tape processing unit. This not only saved operators work, it also permitted overnight unmanned operation and cut labor costs associated with system operations.
|Media specifications||Width: 1/2nch, capacity: 〜200 MB|
|Cartridge dimensions [mm]||109 x 125 x 25.4 (w x d x h)|
|Data transfer speed [MB/s]||1.5|
|Capacity per unit||70 GB (200 MB x 350 cartridges)
210 GB when using the data compression option