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Sony and Panasonic unveil Archival Disc as Blu-ray successor

Cold storage medium aims for 1TB on a single disc
Mon Mar 10 2014, 14:56
archival disc

JAPANESE HARDWARE MAKERS Sony and Panasonic have combined to create a cold storage medium.

Following from a development agreement signed last June, the two companies have announced the Archival Disc. The successor to the format war winning Blu-ray disc, the Archival Disc format is not aimed at the general public but rather for storing the expanding amounts of archive or cold storage data on company servers.

At launch, a single Archival Disc will hold 300GB of data, but the alliance, both of which participated in the marketing of Blu-ray, have committed to perfect the format with a view to eventually supporting 1TB of storage though implementation of multi-layering, increased data density and measures to avoid interference between layers.

The double-sided discs are not rewritable and are designed for the permanent storage of records, raw video footage and other materials that are needed to be filed but are rarely accessed.

The concept of optical cold storage has been demonstrated by Facebook, which has begun installation of 100-disc Blu-ray arrays in its data centres as a lower cost way of storing the billions of stored but rarely accessed photographs on Facebook.

In a statement, the companies explained "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. They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve."

So far, the companies have only announced the product's existence, and details about its playback machines, launch date and pricing are yet to be revealed. µ


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