updated 08:50 am EDT, Mon March 10, 2014
High-capacity Archival Disc could offer 1TB of storage per disc
Sony and Panasonic have revealed the name of the high-capacity storage medium the two companies started working on last year. The Archival Disc is a storage format meant for "professional use" in "long-term digital data storage," using optical discs that will offer a recording capacity of 300GB per disc at launch, expanding to 500GB and up to 1TB in the future, if not higher.
The companies note optical discs, namely technologies similar to Blu-ray and DVD, offer resistance to dust and water, and are capable of withstanding changes in temperature and humidity when stored. Discs also offer "inter-generational compatibility between different formats," allowing data stored on earlier discs to be read on drives using future technologies, which when combined with their environmental resilience, makes them suitable for archival purposes.
Archival Disc roadmap
Current Blu-ray discs are capable of storing 25GB on a single layer or 500GB on two layers, with the multi-layer BDXL format offering up to 128GB of storage. The current roadmap for the Archival Disc roadmap suggests discs with a recording capacity of 300GB will be launching in the summer of 2015, with the higher capacities arriving through improvements in signal processing technology and by adding more layers to the disc.
While the medium is intended for long-term storage in enterprise, the technology could also find its way into the hands of the public. Ultra HD or 4K movies require a considerable amount of storage capacity from discs, something which Archival Disc potentially offers.