Sony and Panasonic Announce Archival Disc for Long-Term Data Storage

Sony and Panasonic have announced a new standard for long-term data storage on discs. The so-called Archival Discs will initially have a storage capacity of 300GB, but gradually this must be increased to 1TB.

Archival Discs are discs that can be written on once and read out via violet laser light with a wavelength of 405nm. This makes them compatible with Blu-ray in terms of readout, but Sony and Panasonic emphasize that the Archival Discs are intended for professional use and long-term storage. In the summer of 2015, systems that can write to the discs will be available and initially it will be a maximum of 300GB.

To achieve that capacity, it involves double-sided discs with three layers per side. In subsequent years, the storage capacity should be increased to first 500GB and then 1TB by successively using the decoding mechanism adaptive cancellation intersymbol interference data transmission and multi-level recording.

Discs based on the new standard can be recognized by the accompanying logo and Sony and Panasonic believe they will be mainly used in data centers and by the film industry.

This development is separate from, for example, the standard for 4k content on Blu-ray discs. A working group of the Blu-Ray Disc Association is currently working on this specification and the goal is to have it ready by the end of 2014.