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Data8
A Sony Data8 Cartridge, 112m.jpg
Media typeMagnetic cassette tape
EncodingReal-time
Read mechanismHelical scan
Write mechanismHelical scan
Developed byExabyte Corporation
UsageData storage
Extended from8 mm video format
Released1987

The 8 mm backup format is a magnetic tape data storage format used in computer systems, pioneered by Exabyte Corporation. It is also known as Data8, often abbreviated to D8 and is written as D-Eight on some Sony branded media. Such systems can back up up to 60 GB of data depending on configuration. The tapes used are mechanically the same as the tapes used in 8 mm video format recorders and camcorders.

Until the advent of AIT, Exabyte were the sole vendor of 8 mm format tape drives. The company was formed with the aim of taking the 8 mm video format and making it suitable for data storage. They did so by building a reliable mechanism and data format that used the common 8 mm helical scan video tape technology that was available then.

Exabyte's first 8 mm tape drive was made available in 1987. This was followed up with their Mammoth tape drive in 1996, and the Mammoth-2 (M2) in 1999.

Exabyte's drive mechanisms were frequently rebranded and integrated into UNIX systems.

Generations

NOTE: The AIT and VXA formats and some other less common formats also use 8 mm wide tape, but are completely incompatible.

Compatibility between tapes and drives and native capacities (GB)

MP AME AME w/ SmartClean
15 m 54 m 112 m 160 m 22 m 45 m 125 m 170 m 75 m 150 m 225 m
EXB-8200 Y Y 2.4
EXB-8205 Y Y Y
EXB-8205 XL Y Y Y Y
EXB-8500 Y Y 5
EXB-8505 Y Y 5
EXB-8505 XL Y Y 5 7
EXB-8700 Y Y Y Y
Eliant 820 Y Y 5 7
Mammoth (EXB-8900) RO RO RO RO 2.5 Y 14 20
Mammoth-LT RO RO RO RO 2.5 Y 14
Mammoth-2 6 12 33 45 20 40 60

Legend:

Exabyte 8 mm

These drives use metal particle (MP) tape.

EXB-8200
EXB-8200

Mammoth

These drives use Advanced Metal Evaporated (AME) tape, but could also read (but not write) MP tapes.

Mammoth-2 (M2)

These drives used Advanced Metal Evaporated (AME) tape with a 2 m integrated cleaning tape header called Smart Clean.

See also

Standards