Sony Joins Forces With Panasonic On Archival Optical Discs

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Sony and Panasonic are to work together on next-generation optical discs, including systems with a recording capacity of 300GB per disc

Sonynext-generation optical discs, with the objective of expanding the market for long-term digital data storage.

The two companies aim to launch systems with a recording capacity of 300GB per disc from summer 2015 onwards. In addition, both companies plan to leverage their respective technologies to further expand the recording capacity per disc to 500GB and 1TB.

Optical disc capacity

In anticipation that optical discs will need to accommodate much larger volumes of storage going forward, particularly given the anticipated future growth in the archive market, Sony and Panasonic have been engaged in the joint development of a standard for professional use, next-generation optical discs.

Jiri Vaclavek“Optical discs have excellent properties to protect themselves against the environment, such as dust-resistance and water-resistance, and can also withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored,” a joint press statement explained. “They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve.”

Crosstalk cancellation technology, which electrically removes crosstalk from the adjacent tracks that increase as the track pitch becomes narrower, to achieve high-quality playback performance, and high-order Partial Response Maximum Likelihood (PRML) signal processing technology, a signal processing technology that improves reproduction performance by allowing inter-symbol interference, have been employed to achieve both larger capacity and higher playback signal quality.

Sony previously commercialised a file-based optical disc archive system in September 2012. Based on optical disc technology that Sony cultivated for its XDCAM series of professional broadcasting products, this system houses 12 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.

Archiving demands on the rise

In July 2013, Panasonic launched its LB-DM9 series of optical disc storage devices. This series uses a dedicated magazine of just 20.8mm thickness to house 12 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 216M bps, while also ensuring high reliability by protecting data from unforeseen faults.

In recent years, there has been an increasing need for archive capabilities, not only from video production industries, such as motion pictures and broadcasting, but also from cloud data centres that handle increasingly large volumes of data following the evolution in network services.

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Originally published on eWeek.

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