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Sony and Panasonic Introduce Archival Disc

Ever since the original introduction of the CD-ROM, round discs have been the preferred medium from storing and archiving digital data. It's seen a few different forms throughout its lifetime, which tackle ever-increasing storage capacities and speeds, and it wasn't too long ago that consumer-grade rewriteable Blu-Ray discs were considered the solution to everyone's disc-based storage needs. Never one to remain silent for too long, however, the experts at Sony have recently announced a brand new Archival Disc - through a partnership with Panasonic -- that may be able to accommodate 1 TB worth of data on a single disc.

Touted as the next generation in high-capacity, optical disc storage, the Archival Disc is slated to hit the hands of professionals in 2015. The developers of the Archival Disc are quick to point out that the product is not meant for average consumer use, but rather those who operate within the data archival industry.

“The development is specifically for professional archiving. We are not currently considering optical discs for household consumer use.” A Panasonic spokesperson said in a recent interview.

Projected Success

While the full extent of the disc's capabilities have yet to be revealed, a public timeline seemingly indicates an initial release of 300-GB discs, followed by storage upgrades that will eventually reach 1 TB in capacity. While neither Panasonic nor Sony has speculated on capacities beyond the 1 TB range, the full extent of the new technology utilized in their Archival Discs is unknown.

Not only is the new Archival Disc expected to take over as the future industry standard of digital data storage, but it also attempts to instill a new standard of hardware connectivity, a concept that is being dubbed as "inter-generational compatibility' by company representatives.

Another factor that is expected to contribute to the success of the Archival Disc is its physical ability to preserve information within any number of environments. Able to function without air conditioning and even in areas with a fluctuating temperature, the disc can easily be integrated in the existing infrastructure of any archival institution.

Commenting on optical storage media as a whole, an anonymous Panasonic spokesperson was quoted as saying: “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. We hope to develop demand for archives that use optical discs.”

Key Features

There are numerous key features of the Archival Disc that are sure to appeal to techies and industry professionals. For starters, the Archival Disc is meant is a write-once medium, meaning you won't be able to reuse individual discs - either to replace or update data - in any way. The medium is presented on a double-sided disc, which features three writeable layers per side within a land-and-groove format. The disc uses Reed-Solomon error correction, integrated crosstalk cancellation technology, and high-order Partial Response Maximum Likelihood (PRML) signal processing in order to maintain their expected capacities as well as the integrity of the data itself.


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