Archival Disk next-generation Optical Disk Announced by Sony and Panasonic

archival disk roadmap

A new archival disc format has been announced by Sony and Panasonic. It will store 300GB on double-sided, triple-layer optical discs. The name for the new format is Archival Disk.

The product roadmap sees a launch from summer 2015, with capacity being increased to 500GB and then 1TB per disc. Compare that to current Blu-ray discs, also a development of Sony and Panasonic, which store on average 50 GB or, at the most, 100 GB.

The need for archival capability has recently increased considerably in the film industry, in addition to in cloud data centers handling big data, where advances in network services have caused data volumes to rise.

The two companies will look to enthusiastically promote this high-capacity optical disc standard in enterprise use, with an eye to offering effective solutions for protecting valuable data into the future. A Panasonic spokesperson added that they not currently considering optical discs for household consumer use.

Same Size as Blu-Ray

archival disk logo

Archival Disk will have the same dimensions as the current Blu-Ray disk, one of the most widely used optical disks in the market today.

According the press release, Crosstalk cancellation technology and high-order Partial Response Maximum Likelihood (PRML) signal processing technology have been employed to achieve both larger capacity and higher playback signal quality.

Crosstalk cancellation technology electrically removes crosstalk from the adjacent tracks that increase as the track pitch becomes narrower, to achieve high-quality playback performance.

Partial Response Maximum Likelihood is a signal processing technology that improves reproduction performance by allowing inter-symbol interference.

Optical discs have attractive properties for protecting themselves against the environment, including dust-resistance and water-resistance. They also hold up well against changes in temperature and humidity during storage. In other words, they do not need to be in a room with regulated temperature or air conditioning like Hard Disk Drives.

Optical storage discs even allow for inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read as formats evolve.

It is not yet known if the new Archival Disk drives will be able to read Blu-ray, although given the stated target market, it seems unlikely.