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Sony and Panasonic working on 300 GB optical discs

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July 29, 2013

A recent optical disc archive system from Sony

A recent optical disc archive system from Sony

Technology giants Sony and Panasonic are joining forces to create a single optical disc with 300 GB of capacity by 2015. Both companies have developed their own high capacity optical disc technology in the past, and the joint venture will aim to create a new format to target large amounts of storage for corporations, though it could be introduced into the consumer market as well.

Very little is known about the technology at this stage, but the development is a show of continued faith in optical media for both companies. In September 2012, Sony built a file-based optical disc archive system. These discs (pictured above) are used by top professionals who shoot HD video coverage, which requires large amounts of storage. In July of this year, Panasonic launched the LB-DM9 series of optical disc storage devices. It uses a dedicated magazine that's just 20.8mm thick and houses 12 100 GB discs.

Though it's not clear if the new optical disc technology from the two companies will keep your data secure for 1,000 years like M-DISC the new technology sounds exciting, and may come as welcome news to businesses which aren't completely convinced about cloud storage or the lifespan of hard drives or SSDs.

Source: Sony

About the Author
Brian Burgess Brian Burgess resides in Minnesota. A technology enthusiast his entire life, he worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. In addition to contributing to Gizmag, he’s the Editor in Chief at groovyPost.com and has written for other notable tech sites Byte, InformationWeek, and How-To Geek. Away from the keyboard, you're likely to find him listening to heavy metal, playing guitar, or watching Star Trek.   All articles by Brian Burgess
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7 Comments

Long term data security is the issue here. How do you convince punters that their data will be safe in even 30 years?

TedF
29th July, 2013 @ 11:14 am PDT

I think M-Disc need to have a look at this technology. I like that company and the way it thinks.

As TedF rightly states, data should be written for the long haul. Circumstances change, and often times what may have been written to as a temp backup may become the sole source of data for years.

The mentality that you pay for what you get is flawed when it comes to optical data storage. They must guarantee at least 10 years in reasonable conditions. By reasonable I mean less then 40 Celsius, not in direct sun, and not exposed to any atmospheric contaminants.

To the article, I am happy they have chosen the enclosed disc concept. I've never been comfortable with open disks that could be subject to scratches and fingerprints.

Never understood why CD ROM tech for data storage could not have stayed in 3.5 floppy format, with dual side access. It would have offered the same capacity as 700Mb, for a slight increase in price of drive and disc, and possibly have continued magnetic disc tech into the future. At the very minimum, it was a smaller drive, and with a dual purpose (optic/magnetic) head, would have removed the need to have two separate drives in one machine.

Nairda
29th July, 2013 @ 04:59 pm PDT

I was glad to see the back of cd's and dvd's. They were responsible for too much grief in my life back when I was studying. To be fair they were more reliable than floppy disks but that isn't much of a claim.

The scenario I would pose today is that a flash drive is so much more usable and robust. They survive washing machines without blinking. As a write once media, the costs wouldn't compete with optical, but in terms of how most people use them, well I think that most people do prefer to use flash drives says something about their perceived value.

I'm not saying there is no role for optical spinning discs but it won't occupy the same place in the consumer space that cd's and dvd's did.

SamB
29th July, 2013 @ 10:25 pm PDT

Wow,

I just can't wait for Sony to invent a video disc.......er, did they not do that and fail 20-30 years ago?

Ok, I understand that libraries and the like might need to keep stuff forever, but how may of you know where you can extract info from a 8" floppy if you have one lying around (if any of you can remember them?).

Now if they were proposing a 300 Terabyte disc, I would be interested, 300 Gigabyte....you can buy a 64gig usb stick for £15 on Amazon, so 5 of those for £75.......I bet that's cheaper than Sony.

hkmk23
30th July, 2013 @ 02:46 am PDT

Sony has had optical disks for years. It is not a CD or a DVD. It is optical disk. there is broadcast equipment build around optical disk ( search PFD disks or XDCAM) . they have 25gb, 50gb and 100gb . So 300gb is just the next size.

it not meant as a consumer hard drive that sell for under $100.

the drive cost over $400. if you are a wedding photographer and you have had a drive crash. it is cheap. have you ever gotten a quote on re-building a hard drive that crashed.

TerryB
30th July, 2013 @ 07:40 am PDT

The new 8 track of the 90's, for long term storage OK, but do they record on both sides? 600gb would be a little better. but I think the first disc player SONY came out with that was the size of a LP could be a whopper of a storage device, seems to me it would be capable of storing several terabytes.

I have seen 2 terabyte thumb drives are for sale now, at a cost of around a $100.00. at that cost backups of backup data could be done. and I'm sure in the not so distant future these will be considered tiny. petabytes or yottabytes might be considered the norm, or even Omegabyte ?

Jay Finke
30th July, 2013 @ 11:39 am PDT

The disc industry shunned a technology years ago that could've had this kind of capacity.

Fluorescent Multilayer Disc. But since the company wasn't in with either the DVD Forum or the DVD+RW Alliance, no big manufacturer was willing to use it.

The technology got bought by a succession of companies, eventually came to market with two or three players and a small number of movie discs, but without being able to break into the American and European markets it failed.

That version had a capacity between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray but by adding additional layers it would've been able to have much more.

Without having the big big money, nobody was able to develop it into a writeable form.

What should have made FMD a sure hit was it worked with ordinary adjustable frequency red lasers as used in DVD-ROM drives capable of reading all types of writeable CD and DVD. A DVD drive only needed firmware changes to be able to focus on and read the multiple layers.

But this technology shall become a "What? I don't remember that." historical footnote because companies like Sony suffer too much from "Not Invented Here" syndrome.

Gregg Eshelman
30th July, 2013 @ 07:39 pm PDT
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