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Sony and Panasonic team up to create the next generation of optical disc

archival discThis week, Sony and Panasonic have announced the Archival Disc. This product is the result of a partnership between the two companies that started in July 2013, specifically to develop, a new industry standard in optical disc media.

The Archival Disc is a dual-sided disc with three layers per side. It keeps the same dimensions as a Blu-ray disc. It will initially hold 300 gigabytes of data, and readable for at least 50 years. Later iterations of the technology will expand the threshold to up to 1 terabyte. In comparison, today’s Blu-rays can hold up to 50 gigabytes of data.

“As a type of archival media, optical discs have numerous advantages over current mainstream HDD and tape media, such as their ability to be stored for a long time while still maintaining readability,” said a Panasonic spokesman. “We hope to develop demand for archives that use optical discs.”

Sony and Panasonic are pushing the disc for use in professional fields focused on archiving large amounts of valuable data, such as the film industry and cloud service companies. The Archival Disc is not currently targeted toward consumer markets.

Sony and Panasonic expect the Archival Disc to hit the market in 2015. Each company will market the discs under their own brands.

While consumers won’t be able to get a hold of these discs for personal use, the advantages of industry leaders adopting this technology could benefit consumers in the long run, since so many people depend on cloud services such as Dropbox to handle their valuable data. It’s also interesting to speculate when a successor to Blu-ray will find its way into homes.

By Alfredo Dizon, eParisExtra

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