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Sony, Panasonic join forces to develop 300GB optical discs

Sony and Panasonic announced they will jointly develop a next-generation disc with recording capacity of at least 300GB by the end of 2015. Both companies have previously developed products based on the Blu-ray Disc format, leveraging the strengths of optical discs.

However, both Sony and Panasonic recognised 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.

Sony previously commercialised a file-based optical disc archive system in September 2012. Based on optical disc technology that company cultivated for its XDCAM series of professional broadcasting products, this system houses twelve optical discs within a compact cartridge as a single, high-capacity 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.

While this joint announcement makes no specific reference to Blu-ray discs' single-layer 25GB and dual-layer 50GB capacity, these developments will have a bearing on the necessity to augment the Blu-ray disc storage to accommodate 4K video content. The Blu-ray Disc Association set up a working group earlier this year to explore the options available. Sony has previously said that 4K ultra-high definition movies were likely to take up more than 100GB of space.

Story filed 29.07.13

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