【Fujitsu】 FACOM 6470 Magnetic Tape Unit

The FACOM 6470 was a high-performance magnetic tape unit from Fujitsu which used tape media compatible with the IBM 3480. It was completed in September 1987. Fujitsu previously had the FACOM 6475 cartridge type tape reader, which used VHS cartridges as media, but Fujitsu newly developed this unit, which used high-capacity, compact, easy-to-handle single reel cartridge media with international compatibility. The FACOM 6470 had the following features:

(1) An 18-track magnetic head employing thin film technology enabled a high recording density of 37,871byte/inch, and data recording of a maximum of 200Mbyte per cartridge.
(2) The system achieved a high data transfer speed of 3.0Mbyte/s, 2.4 times that of a conventional open reel tape unit. It enabled transmission at 4.5Mbyte/sec between the magnetic tape unit controller and the channel unit.
(3) Compared with the previous FACOM 613A open reel magnetic tape unit, the system reduced setup space to about 1/3, reduced power consumption to less than half, and also dramatically reduced media storage space.
(4) The unit could record approximately 400Mbyte of data per cartridge tape using the data compression mechanism of the magnetic tape controller. This mechanism compressed data from the channel when recording onto tape, and then decompressed it during reading to send the original data to the channel.
  FACOM 6470
Magnetic Tape Unit
FACOM 6475A1/A2
Cartridge Tape Unit
Magnetic Tape Unit
Completion date September 1987 June 1985 December 1977
Tape media Single cartridge tape
(Width 1/2inch, length 540feet)
VHS cartridge tape
(Width 1/2inch,length 800feet)
Open reel tape
(Width 1/2inch, length 2400feet)
Cartridge form (mm) 110(W)×126(D)×26(H) 188(W)×104(D)×25(H) -
Number of drive decks (deck/unit) 2 2 1
Recording density (byte/inch) 37,871 32,000 6,250/1,600
Number of recording tracks 18 18 9
Recording system GCR bi-GCR GCR/PE
Data transfer speed (MB/s) FACOM 6470A:3.0
FACOM 6470B:1.5
2.5 1.25/0.32
Tape running speed (inch/s) FACOM 6470A:78.7
FACOM 6470B:39.3
78.1 200
Memory capacity(*1)
Max. 200
(With data compression: approx. 400)
Max. 280 Max. 170/44
Access time (ms) 25 22 1.0
Rewind time (s) 55 Max. 52 Max. 45
Unload time (s) 7 10 7
Automatic loading of multiple media Automatic loading mechanism holding a max. of 6 tapes Cartridge magazine mechanism holding a max. of 10tapes (FACOM 6475A2) No

*1: When recorded with 32Kbyte block size

FACOM 6470 Magnetic Tape UnitThe FACOM 6470 came in two types: the standard type, and the type with auto loader. This photo shows the latter type. With the standard type, loading was done by inserting a cartridge from the front window, but with thiCartridge tape single reel format for the FACOM 6470 magnetic tape unit. External dimensions were 109 × 125 ×25.5mm. The tape was 0.5 inches wide and 550 feet long. Memory capacity was 200MB.