Next-gen Archival Disc will squeeze 1TB of data onto optical discs

Archival DiscMove over, Blu-ray: Sony and Panasonic have just announced a new optical disc specification with even higher storage capacities. The new "Archival Disc" format promises to store between six and 20 times the data of a standard 50GB dual-layer Blu-ray disc. Unlike Blu-ray, this new format is intended primarily for professional, archival use. The companies first announced that they would be working on this then-nameless standard together in July of 2013.

"Optical discs have excellent properties to protect themselves against the environment, such as dust-resistance and water-resistance, and can also withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored," reads the release. "They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve. This makes them robust media for long-term storage of content."

First-wave Archival Discs are slated to launch in summer of 2015 and will be able to hold up to 300GB of data. By comparison, the largest commonly available Blu-Ray discs use the 100GB and 128GB BDXL format. Archival Discs will apparently be double-sided, so this works out to 150GB of data per side. Future versions of the technology will improve storage density, increasing to 500GB (or 250GB per side) and 1TB (500GB per side) as the standard matures.

Next-gen Archival Disc will squeeze 1TB of data onto optical discs

It's possible that this technology could come to consumers at some pointwe'll eventually start seeing more 4K content as TVs that use the standard begin to replace their 720p and 1080p predecessors. However, streaming video services combined with new, more efficient video codecs may reduce the need for this kind of high-capacity optical disc in the home. Blu-ray sales aren't growing fast enough to make up for the continuing decline in DVD sales, and an even more expensive, higher-capacity storage medium is unlikely to reverse this trend.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Panasonic, Sony

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