Sony and Panasonic have announced that they have teamed up to create a new archival optical disc standard called Archival Disc. The new format is aimed at professional usage with next generation optical discs. The goal of the new format is to expand the market for long-term data storage using optical disc formats.
The optical disc is a good medium for the long-term storage of data because it has properties that protect the data from the environment. Optical discs are dust resistant and water resistant for instance. They are also able to withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored.
One of the key aspects of optical discs is that they have compatibility across media generations since drives are backwards compatible. The new Archival disc format that Sony and Panasonic have announced is designed to support significantly larger storage volumes.
Sony and Panasonic plan to launch Archival Discs in the summer of 2015 that have 300GB of data per disc. The capacity of each disc will later increase to 500GB and then to 1TB. Neither firm is giving a time frame for the larger capacity discs to launch. The media is write-once and is a double-sided disc with three layers per side.