Iomega announces third-gen, 120GB REV drives

Tape drives are a common tool for small and medium-sized businesses who need to keep their data safe, but Iomega sells an alternative product it claims delivers superior performance, higher capacities, and lower costs. This alternative is dubbed REV technology, and Iomega announced the third generation of REV cartridges and drives earlier today.

The first REV drives launched in 2004 with 35GB capacities. Iomega bumped that up to 70GB in 2006, and it's now hitting 120GB per cartridge with its third-gen REV technology. For the uninitiated, REV harnesses the same core parts as hard drives but separates them into drive bays and removable disks. The drive head and electronics reside inside the host drive, while each disk plays host to a platter and motor. Iomega says its REV setups keep disk platters free from outside air contamination and requires "zero maintenance."

The new 120GB REV drives and disks. Source: Iomega.

According to Iomega, 120GB REV drives provide transfer speeds of up to 35MB/s, and the removable disks can live through one million rewrites and stay archived for 30 years. Iomega adds that its new REV drives compare quite favorably to entry-level LTO-1 and DAT160 tape drives, supposedly featuring five times greater transfer speeds, 20% more native capacity, and costs "upwards of 50 percent less."

Folks will be able to purchase REV 120GB backup drives and removable disks starting next month. Iomega will offer drives in both external USB 2.0 and internal Serial ATA flavors, and disks will be available either individually or in five-disk packs. Later this year, internal REV drives with ATA interfaces will also be available. Iomega hasn't announced pricing yet, but judging by the price tags it slaps on second-gen REV offerings, we'd expect third-gen drives to cost at least $500.

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