Sony, Panasonic cooking up 1TB optical discs

Okay, so this isn't the first time someone has promised us 1TB optical media. Fujifilm did just that over a year ago. But hey, the more the merrier, right?

Today's announcement is from Sony and Panasonic, who say they've developed a new optical media standard aimed at "long-term digital data storage" in a professional context. Dubbed Archival Disc, the new format will debut next year with 300GB discs. Sony and Panasonic have drawn up plans for subsequent capacity increases to 500GB and 1TB:

As you can see in the chart above, the 300GB media has two sides, with three layers per side. To attain the high storage density, Sony and Panasonic use a technology that, in their words, "electrically removes crosstalk from the adjacent tracks that increase as the track pitch becomes narrower." They also use what they call Partial Response Maximum Likelihood technology, which "improves reproduction performance by allowing inter-symbol interference." Additional special sauce will be needed to reach 500GB and 1TB, as the chart shows.

Oh, and there's even a logo for the new format. It looks like a play on the Blu-ray logo, with the same swoosh representing a D and enclosing another letter—in this case a stylized A. I kinda like it.

The announcement brings up the archival demands of the film industry and cloud data centers, but it makes no mention of consumer storage. I don't know if we'll be seeing AD media and drives selling at Newegg. I do hope at least one of these high-capacity formats becomes widely available, though. Backing up the contents of a 4TB hard drive to Blu-ray discs is a little impractical, and USB thumb drives still aren't capacious enough for heavy-duty backup purposes.

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