Sony and Panasonic will team up to develop the successor to the Blu-Ray disc able to hold six times as much data.
The two Japanese electronics giants have signed a basic agreement that aims to develop an optical disc with recording capacity of at least 300GB by the end of 2015, compared to a Blu-Ray discs capacity of up to 50GB.
Both firms believe optical discs are a robust medium for long-term storage of content thanks to properties that protect them against the environment, such as dust and water-resistance, and ability to withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored.
A joint statement said: “Both companies have previously developed products based on the Blu-ray format, leveraging the strengths of optical discs.
“However, both Sony and Panasonic 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, and responded by formulating this agreement. “
The firms believe the primary target for the new technology will be the archive market for businesses wanting to store their data, but there is also likely to be demand from the consumer market for higher capacity discs in the near future.
Both firms have already experimented with higher capacity storage, with Sony having previously commercialized a file-based optical disc archive system in September, 2012, for its XDCAM series of professional broadcasting products.
The system houses twelve optical discs within a compact cartridge as a single, high-capacity storage device. Each disc within the cartridge has 25GB capacity, offering a total range of storage capacities from 300GB to 1.5TB.
And this month, Panasonic launched its LB-DM9 series of optical disc storage devices, which use a 20.8mm thick magazine to house twelve 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 data transfer performance of up to 216MB/s.
The joint statement said: “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.
“Both Sony and Panasonic have a proven track record in developing Blu-ray Disc™ format technologies, and by actively promoting the adoption of a new standard for next-generation high-capacity optical discs, they intend to offer solutions that preserve valuable data for future generations.”