This article is from the storage FAQ part1, by Rodney D. Van Meter with numerous contributions by others.
Ampex supports D2. Data rates are in the 15 MByte/sec range. The Ampex tape transport and head system were originally sold through E-Systems (EMASS), who built the storage controller and sold it as the ER-90 and coupled it with Odetics robots. Ampex now makes their own interface for the unit, sold as the DST. They also make their own very fast robotics. The ER-90 is popular with the oil crowd. I don't know if the tapes are interchangeable with the DST. (rdv, 12/94) DD-2 (19mm Data D-2 Format) Ampex DST General: 3 cartridge (cassette) sizes - 25, 75, 165 gigabytes (uncompressed). 15 megabyte/sec. sustained (20 megabyte/sec. burst) transfer rate (per drive). Up to 800 megabyte/sec. search speed (per drive). Smart DD-2 format includes partitioning and system zones to maximize storage efficiency and speed data access. 3 layers of Reed-Solomon error correction, with read-after-write verification and automatic rewrite yield error rate of 1 in 10E15 bits read. Drive(s) dual ported SCSI-2 (16 bit fast, differential). DST 310 Tape Drive: All 3 cartridge (cassette) sizes supported - 25, 75, 165 gigabytes (uncompressed). Rack mount or table top configurations. Single unit price: $120K. Ampex recently (dec. '95 or thereabouts) announced a new tape drive model that's substantially cheaper, ~US$80K. Still 15 MB/sec., but I think it only supports S cassettes. Ampex Corporation 401 Broadway, M.S. 3-46 Redwood City, CA 94063-3199 Inquiry: 415-367-2982 Facsimile: 415-367-3850 Internet: email@example.com (see also Ampex under autochangers -- they make their own for this tape drive) (firstname.lastname@example.org, 94/12/23)