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Definition: DAT

(1) (DATa) See DAT file.

(2) (Dynamic Address Translator) A hardware circuit that converts a virtual memory address into a real address.

(3) (Digital Audio Tape) A magnetic tape technology used for backing up data. DAT uses 4mm cartridges that look like thick audio cassettes and conform to the DDS (Digital Data Storage) standard. DAT tape libraries hold from a handful to several hundred cassettes. DAT was initially a CD-quality audio format. It was thought to replace analog audiotapes for consumers, but wound up being used by professional musicians and sound studios. In 1988, Sony and HP defined the DDS format and quality level for computer storage. Like videotapes, DAT uses helical scan recording. See magnetic tape and ADAT.

  Type    Native Capacity
  DDS-1    2GB
  DDS-2    4GB
  DDS-3   12GB
  DDS-4   20GB
  DDS-5   36GB

DAT Cartridge
DAT provides up to 36GB of native storage in a cartridge that is a little thicker, but smaller overall than an audio cassette.

Helical Scan Formats
These are the helical scan tape formats used for digital storage. See helical scan.