This article is from the storage FAQ part1, by Rodney D. Van Meter with numerous contributions by others.
An article in Computer Tech Review says that Sony has announced a 25GB native 3MB/sec 3.5" 8mm drive based on the same media technology they developed for Exabyte's mammoth. At this point (June 10, 1996), opinions in the newsgroup differ as to whether or not the media is compatible with Exabyte's Mammoth, though everybody agrees that SDV-300 will not be read or write compatible with Mammoth or earlier Exabytes. Sony's new drive does look impressive. The information that I have says that production shipments begin this summer (late July for initial shipments) for units without the data compression feature. That would be 25GB native capacity @ 3MB/sec. Drives with compression will ship in 4Q96, for a guess, probably October-ish. The interesting feature is the NIC cartridge that has positioning information due out by mid-97 that will eliminate the need to rewind before unloading the tape and will allow the tape to seek in either direction on loading. This is a flash chip built into the cartridge itself. The SDX-300C is apparently one model in this line, already shipping in some autochangers. No flash index chip yet. (rdv,96/11/4) (Jeff Johnson (email@example.com), Bob Covey (firstname.lastname@example.org) and others, 1996/6/10)