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Sony, Panasonic Address Long-Term Storage with Next-Gen Optical Media

Sony and Panasonic have signed a basic agreement to jointly develop a next-generation optical disc for professional use. The companies' goal is to develop an optical disc with a recording capacity of at least 300 GB by the end of 2015.

Both Sony and Panasonic have developed Blu-ray Disc storage products, but the companies recognized the future need for much larger storage media to accommodate the expected growth in the archive market from cloud data centers and long-term digital data storage applications. With this partnership, both companies intend to improve their development efficiency based on the technologies held by each respective company.

According to the companies, advantages of optical discs include:

  • Dust resistance;
  • Water resistance;
  • Ability to withstand changes in temperature and humidity; and
  • Inter-generational compatibility between different formats.

Both Sony and Panasonic have recently developed new optical disc storage technology. In September of last year, Sony commercialized a file-based optical disc archive system based on optical disc technology it had developed for its XDCAM series of professional broadcasting products. That product housed 12 optical discs in a single, high-capacity storage cartridge, for a total storage capacity of 300 GB to 1.5 TB.

In July of this year, Panasonic launched its LB-DM9 series of optical disc storage devices, which house 12 100 GB optical discs in a 20.8 mm thick magazine. The devices support a maximum of 90 magazines for a total capacity of 108 TB. Panasonic also adopted a changer system with RAID technology for rapid data transfer performance of up to 216 MBps with high reliability.

The companies plan to use their combined expertise to develop the new high-capacity optical disc storage technology. As the next step in the development process, Sony and Panasonic will discuss specifications and other development aspects of the new standard.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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