Sony has announced the Archival Disc, a new Blu-ray format which can store up to 1TB of data.
Developed together with Panasonic, the new discs are described as a “new standard for professional-use… with the objective of expanding the market for long-term digital data storage.”
Each disc will be double-sided with three layers per side, utilizing two new technologies (crosstalk cancellation and PRML) to achieve larger capacity and higher playback signal quality.
“In recent times, demand for archival capabilities has increased significantly in the film industry, as well as in cloud data centers that handle big data, where advances in network services have caused data volumes to soar,” reads a Sony statement.
The first systems will launch from summer 2015 as a 300GB (write-once) offering. Sony and Panasonic plan to expand recording capacities to 500GB and 1TB in the future.
You might be wondering why we’re still using optical discs when the future seems to be flash storage (SSDs) and cloud technology. Well don’t be so quick to dismiss our circular
shurikens friends. According to Sony, optical discs:
- Have dust- and water-resistance;
- Can withstand changes in temperature and humidity; and
- Allows inter-generational compatibility between different formats.
Before anyone gets too excited, it’ll likely take a long time before the Archival Disc becomes available on a consumer level. There’s definitely interest in using it for movie collections (an entire trilogy on a single disc, anyone?) and backing up an entire computer, though videogames will probably be last on the list for technical reasons. We could have mind-blowing texture resolutions and billions of assets, but we’d ultimately need the hardware muscle to process all that.
On the flip side, imagine downloading a game that huge.