Memorex Corp has introduced its first IBM 3480-compatible drive, the 5480 tape cartridge subsystem, which comes from Hitachi and needless to say has been designed to improve on the IBM original. Enhancements include one-step cartridge insertion for speed and ease; larger characters on the display panel; support for double the number of data channels, so that up to 16 can be supported using two controllers; a 2Mb cache to support multi-record buffering with large block lengths; and dual microprocessors in the controller independently transferring data across the channel and to the cartridge drives. An optional automatic cartridge loader automatically loads and unloads up to six cartridges per transport. Operator selectable modes are manual, automatic and MVS system control. The 5480 uses thin-film read-write heads and 18-track cartridges, including the Memorex Toughshell, and tape motion is controlled by a servo motor under microprogram control. The Memorex 5480 will be available in the fourth quarter of 1987 and the minimum configuration of a 5481 controller and a 5480 dual drive module, will go for $108,550.
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