Sony and Panasonic plan 'next generation' optical discs for data storage

Sony and Panasonic say they are working on the "next-generation standard for professional-use optical discs".

The pair say their objective is expanding their archive business for long-term digital data storage. They say they are targeting an optical disc with recording capacity of at least 300GB (Gigabyte) by the end of 2015.

Both companies have previously developed optical disc products based on the Blu-ray format. "However", they said, "optical discs will need to accommodate much larger volumes of storage in years to come given the expected future growth in the archive market".

The partners said there has been an increasing need for archive capabilities, not only from video production industries, such as motion pictures and broadcasting, but also from cloud data centres that handle increasingly large volumes of data for networked services.

Sony previously commercialised a file-based optical disc archive system in September 2012.

Based on optical disc technology that Sony used for its XDCAM series of professional broadcasting products, this system houses twelve optical discs within a compact cartridge as a single, high-capacity storage solution. Each disc within the cartridge holds 25GB of capacity, offering a total range of storage capacities from 300GB to 1.5TB (terabyte).

In July this year, Panasonic launched its LB-DM9 series of optical disc storage devices. This series uses a dedicated magazine of just 20.8mm in thickness to house twelve 100GB optical discs.

A maximum of 90 magazines can be stored, providing a total storage capacity of 180TB.