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Sony, Panasonic To Develop 300 GB Optical Discs

Market introduction planned for 2015

This article originally appeared in TV Technology.

Sony and Panasonic have announced an agreement to develop 300 GB next-generation optical discs for long term digital data storage, with the goal of introducing a product by the end of 2015.

Although both companies previously collaborated on the development of Blu-ray discs, in the announcement, the companies said they “recognized that optical discs will need to accommodate much larger volumes of storage in years to come given the expected future growth in the archive market.” Both companies pointed to the expanding needs for archiving in video production as well as from cloud data centers as the reasons behind their work in advancing the format. A Blu-ray disc can store up to 25 GB of data; a dual-layer disc can hold up to 50 GB of data. According to, future incarnations of the discs could hold up to 200 GB of data by adding layers.

In making the announcement, Sony and Panasonic pointed to the versatility of optical discs for long-term data storage, noting the format’s dust resistance and water resistance as well as the ability to withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored. Their ability to allow intergenerational compatibility among different formats ensures “that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve,” the companies said.

Both companies have recently introduced file-based optical disc archiving systems that come close to or exceed the 300 GB storage requirement. Last year, Sony introduced an archiving system that houses up to 12 optical discs holding 25 GB each within a compact cartridge as a single, high-capacity storage solution, offering potential storage capacities from 300 GB to 1.5 TB.

This month, Panasonic launched its LB-DM9 series of optical disc storage devices. It uses a dedicated magazine of just 20.8 mm thickness to house twelve 100 GB optical discs. A maximum of 90 magazines can be stored, providing a total storage capacity of 180 TB. In addition, Panasonic adopted a newly-developed changer system together to RAID technology to offer rapid data transfer performance of up to 216 MBps, while also ensuring high reliability by protecting data from unforeseen faults.