Some businesses out there need to store lots of data, and would like to do so by packing it into as small a space as possible. Enter the next generation in optical storage from Sony and Panasonic, which will result in the introduction of 300GB optical discs starting next year.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
300GB discs will be the smallest of the new entries in optical storage. These discs will be followed up with ones that will hold 500GB of data, as well as a whopping 1TB. For comparison, current-gen Blu-ray discs commonly hold 25GB per disc, and the highest-capacity Blu-ray we’ve found for sale on Froogle tops out at 100GB.
Dubbed Archival Discs, these plastic wonders will reportedly be readable for a minimum of 50 years. On top of that, a Panasonic rep claims that the new discs don’t require that you store them in any special environments or specific temperatures in order to keep them in tip top shape.
Though you may already be dreaming of the entertainment applications that 300GB, 500GB, and 1TB discs potentially hold, reports state that Panasonic and Sony are aiming for these discs to be used in big data storage applications, like cloud services. They’re allegedly not being developed for consumer use at this time.
“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 rep. “We hope to develop demand for archives that use optical discs.”
If the 50 year readability claim has any merit to it, that would put these discs much higher on the durability totem pole compared to other storage formats, like traditional hard drives. For instance, a study conducted by BackBlaze, an online backup services firm, concluded that of the 13,000 Seagate drives it tested, the 1.5TB drives had an annual failure rate of 14 percent, while the 3TB and 4TB drives suffered annual failure rates of 9 percent, and 3 percent, respectively.
It’s currently unclear how much any of these discs will cost once they begin to hit the market starting next year, but we’re pretty sure that they won’t come cheap.