Sony and Panasonic have signed a basic agreement with the objective of jointly developing a next-generation standard for professional-use optical discs, with the objective of expanding their archive business for long-term digital data
Both companies aim to improve their development efficiency based on the
technologies held by each respective company, and will target the development of
an optical disc with recording capacity of at least 300GB by the end of 2015. The discs will have the typical 12cm diameter.
Going forward, Sony and Panasonic will continue to hold discussions regarding
the specifications and other items relating to the development of this new
Optical discs have excellent properties to protect them 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. Both companies have previously developed products
based on the Blu-ray format, leveraging the strengths of optical discs. However,
both Sony and Panasonic recognized that optical discs will need to accommodate
much larger volumes of storage in years to come given the expected future growth
in the archive market, and responded by formulating this agreement.
Sony previously commercialized a file-based optical disc archive system in
September, 2012. Based on optical disc technology that Sony cultivated for its
XDCAM series of professional broadcasting products, this system houses twelve
optical discs within a compact cartridge as a single storage solution. Each disc
within the cartridge holds 25GB capacity, offering a total range of storage
capacities from 300GB to 1.5TB.
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 thickness to house
twelve 100GB optical discs. A maximum of 90 magazines can be stored, providing a
total storage capacity of 180TB. In addition, Panasonic adopted a newly-
developed changer system together with RAID technology to offer rapid data
transfer performance of up to 216MB/s, while also ensuring high reliability by
protecting data from unforeseen faults.
The Japanese companies have a proven track record in developing Blu-ray disc
format technologies, and by actively promoting the adoption of a new standard
for next-generation high-capacity optical discs, they intend to offer solutions
that preserve data for future generations.