Sony, Panasonic team up on 300GB discs

Companies readying new high-capacity format to launch in 2015, aimed at professional market for archival purposes

Sony and Panasonic have announced that they're developing the next-generation of optical disc technology, but there's no need to sell the Blu-ray collection just yet. The two companies have signed an agreement to work together to create a new disc format capable of storing 300GB (a dual-layer Blu-ray holds 50GB), but it's intended primarily as an archiving format for long-term data storage.

"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," the companies said in a statement. "Both Sony and Panasonic 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 valuable data for future generations."

The companies noted that optical discs are less susceptible to problems from dust, water, humidity, and temperature changes than other technologies like hard disc drives. The agreement on a unified standard is a change in approach for Sony and Panasonic, both of whom already sell proprietary high-capacity storage technologies adapted from the Blu-ray format.

Sony and Panasonic have not yet settled on exact specifications, but they hope to have the new format on the market by the end of 2015.

Related stories

Sony acquires Audiokinetic

PlayStation pick ups Wwise maker, but audio middleware outfit will continue to operate independently, support multiple platforms

By Brendan Sinclair

PS4 sales reach 91.6 million worldwide

Spider-Man sales pass nine million

By Christopher Dring

Latest comments (9)

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 5 years ago
I would love a product like this, since I like to archive important things, especially music, work and important documents as a "Hard Copy". However as a digital "Hard Copy" I feel optical disc media can provide such a thing because I trust optical media more than hardrives, which have moving parts and flash media has a short data retention... (40 years) and it is shortened to just a few years if not stored in optimal room conditions.

Hard drives are suspectible to magnetic fields and impact as well, hardly a viable solution for long term data storage or travelling.

SONY has a supporting customer in me. This would resolve many data storage issues until quantum storage, memristor and HVD (Holographic Versitile Disk) technology arrives.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 31st July 2013 2:03am

1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Adam Campbell Game Manager, Azoomee5 years ago
Its a good idea.

Slim, efficient storage capacity. Along with the advantage that data is protected from magnetic interference, modern discs are also a lot less susceptible to damage compared to the past, thanks to special coatings. I'm impressed by how durable blu-ray discs are...

We had plenty of talk in previous years about blu-ray discs potentially supporting 6x the capacity i.e. 200GB. I wonder if they are evolving on existing technology or using completely new ideas altogether. I guess I'll need to research.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
James Boulton Owner, Retro HQ Ltd5 years ago
My experience with archiving on writeable CD and DVD media is that the lifespan is quite short -- like 5 years or so. I've had so many read errors from old optical media, it's a joke. This doesn't hold true for production pressed CD's, though, they seem pretty solid. But I don't trust CD's or DVD's for backup what-so-ever...
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (9)
Paul Shirley Programmers 5 years ago
Even pressed CD/DVD can have a shockingly short life if the edges aren't correctly sealed. Dye based discs are best considered unreliable for anything but short term storage - even there I waste 10% on par2 recovery blocks. Drive compatibility remains a disaster, with no way to know if the disk you burn today will play in the drive you own a few years later. Even the supposed protection burying the active layer under plastic gives can't be trusted, damage the surface even slightly and the disk is still borked too often.

Current optical is a terrible format. The only reliable version available is DVD-RAM, which really does seem indestructible (a writer will actually burn off fingerprints and other crud!). It failed, too expensive, too slow. I can only hope the new format goes back to phase change, otherwise it's just a way to put even more quickly unreadable data on the same sized disk.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Shirley on 31st July 2013 12:14pm

1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
David Amirian Writer 5 years ago
i'm sure this will have some sort of consumer application down the road, but i think Blu-Rays will be prevalent for quite a while longer. i think right now the highest they can get a blu-ray is 4 layers at 128GB.

obviously its not very big, but it seems to be fine for now. i'm sure they can start including a second Blu-Ray for special features etc if it gets to that point for the 4K movies.

i think its smart to keep getting better optical media, at least for now. cheap, efficient, disposable storage is always going to be needed, and hard drives/flash drives dont really count.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 5 years ago
4k movies on Sony's proprietary box fit onBD50.

I know that a big part of this project is finding dyes suitable for long term storage, at least 5 years under adverse conditions, and decades properly stored. This is designed to replace tape backup.

I seriously doubt you're going to see a consumer format for this. Holographic storage is coming, but HVD is dead, just like FLD and a hundred other prototypes. We're at least 15-20 years before another burn able media might be tried for normal people., And maybe not even then given the poor Blu ray burner penetration. Manufacturers want to move to the cloud, system drives moving to flash, and people are just using hard drives for storage

Me, I've got double HDD redundancy, coup,Ed with optical disc backup, 2 different burns for the important stuff. Call me paranoid :)
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd5 years ago
My CD and DVD backups have stood the test of time. Storing backups on DVD's works out to about 50 per TB so it's pretty cost effective.

For anyone who works with digital media this will be highly valuable.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 5 years ago
This is great, I do a lot of animation work so this will be a superb backup solution. Put a lot of projects onto one, free the external hard disk up. :)
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Roland Austinat roland austinat media productions|consulting, IDG, Computec, Spiegel Online5 years ago
@Paul, I second that. Some DVDs I've burned and stored properly maybe five years ago are next to being unreadable. I tried to install a game from the 90s the other day, on retail CD-ROM - read errors.

@Jeff: Do you have your physical backups in different physical spaces? Aka can the house burn down and you still have the data somewhere? Not a trick question. :)
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.