Panasonic and Sony have signed an agreement to jointly develop a next-generation standard for professional-use optical discs — with the objective of expanding their archive business for long-term digital data storage.
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. Going forward, Sony and Panasonic will continue to hold discussions regarding the specifications and other items relating to the development of this new standard.
Known for their robustness, optical discs are dust-resistant, water-resistant and can also withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored. They also allow intergenerational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve. This makes them a robust medium for long-term storage of content.
Both companies have previously developed products based on the Blu-ray format, leveraging the strengths of optical discs. However, the companies said that recognized that optical discs need to accommodate much larger volumes of data storage in years to come given the expected future growth in the archive market.
Sony previously commercialized a new 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 12 optical discs within a compact cartridge as a single, high-capacity storage system. Each disc within the cartridge holds 25GB capacity, offering a total range of storage capacities from 300GB to 1.5TB.
In July, Panasonic launched its LB-DM9 series of optical disc storage devices. This series uses a dedicated magazine of 20.8mm thickness to house 12 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.
In recent years, 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 centers that handle increasingly large volumes of data following the evolution in network services.