Thunderbolt™ 3 continues to be a cutting-edge technology that offers high throughput (40 Gbps) to peripheral devices, but even more importantly, brings versatility to mobile and desktop platforms. With Thunderbolt, the broadcast and film industries have more flexibility to manage their creative assets. But now, with the adoption of 4K and higher formats, traditional storage options are often too expensive to accommodate and protect the growing amount of data.

Now, connecting a Thunderbolt 3 to 12Gb SAS/SATA adapter outfitted with the latest linear tape-open (LTO™) 8 tape drives provides a simple and affordable means to store, archive and transport large amounts of content.

The combination of an ATTO ThunderLink 3128, Thunderbolt 3 to 12Gb SAS/SATA adapter and the latest generation of LTO-8 tape drives adds value to many components of the content creation process. This ultimately allows for handling the increasing visual resolution and complexity of media (HD, 4K, 3D, etc.) which creates larger and more numerous files that must be managed in a cost effective way.

Camera Media

Most digital cameras encode images directly to a solid state device (SSD) or removable disk. This media can be quite expensive. Fast transfers of content to tape using mobile computers with Thunderbolt allows for efficient reuse of media, reducing the number of SSDs or disks that must be purchased.

Post production

Post-production is where all of a project’s ingredients come together: camera content, digital effects, graphics and sound. These elements are repeatedly edited, enhanced, assembled and reviewed. Ideally, this collection of medium to high bit rate content would reside in a common storage pool that multiple creative professionals from various companies could access from different geographic locations. But the reality is that making content available in this way is expensive and a logistical challenge. Thunderbolt 3 to 12Gb and LTO-8 tape provides an affordable alternative for exchanging content files, which can be loaded to disk for editing and then moved back to tape to free up expensive online storage capacity for new work.


Network-based solutions can be used for many distribution needs, but given the large size of media files, significant network bandwidth is required. This increases both complexity and expense. Large amounts of data can be transferred to tape via Thunderbolt and moved more quickly and economically than over the network/Internet — a compelling prospect for media houses that produce terabytes of data on a daily basis. The encryption features of LTO tape also help to secure data that’s in transit.


Thunderbolt technology also adds value by simplifying the transcoding process. You can seamlessly ingest, transcode and store to multiple sources concurrently by attaching cameras, primary storage and near-line storage directly to a workstation, which saves an enormous amount of time and money. Having the ability to transfer transcoded files to more than one location also helps for securing and backing up original footage, and for simple handoffs for editing.


Losing a full day’s worth of production is very costly. That’s why backup of daily footage to LTO-8 tape is a common requirement. Archiving with a ThunderLink 3128 tape solution also satisfies the mandate imposed by insurance companies on many motion picture productions to maintain multiple copies of content.

ATTO will demo the ThunderLink 3128 at NAB 2018, booth # SL8716,along with a complete portfolio of connectivity solutions representing over 30 years of experience developing technology solutions for creative professionals.