Yes! You got that right. The two industry giants are going to work on a new format together. Panasonic and Sony have made a step further in a strategic partnership to develop a new type of optical disc which has a recording capacity of at least 300GB and shall be released by the end of 2015. Even though it’s known that optical discs can’t compete with the speed of Flash memory or even Hard Disk Drives, the companies still quarrel that their physical properties definitely make them a better medium for archiving and long-term storage.
According to Panasonic, the advantages of optical discs when evaluated against HDDs or SSDs consist of dust-resistance and water-resistance, higher tolerance to temperature and humidity changes. They also support “inter-generational compatibility” between different formats – for instance, most DVD and Blu-Ray players can play back standard Audio CDs which was a format invented back in 80’s.
Both Sony and Panasonic are at the moment connected in manufacturing of the Blu-Ray format, which supports to fit up to 128GB of data on a single four layer disc. But the Japanese companies realized it long time back that this limit will have to be increased further. At Sony’s end, it is already emerging with an experimental medium for its professional video recording equipment that stores twelve 25GB discs in a single cartridge. In the meantime, Panasonic has been working on the same LB-DM9 system, which features ten thinner, 100GB discs.
The two companies will mutually combine their proficiency to produce a new optical disc, which will allow gripping 300GB of data on a single piece of plastic. The soon-to-come and yet unnamed format, developed first and foremost for the media industries and data centre applications. Sources say that it is expected to arrive no later than the end of 2015.