Archival Disc is the name of a trademark owned by Sony Corporation and Panasonic Corporation describing an optical disc storage medium designed for long-term digital storage. First announced on 10 March 2014 and planned to be introduced in Q2 2015, the discs are intended to be able to withstand changes in temperature and humidity, in addition to dust and water, ensuring that the disc is readable for at least 50 years.
The discs are designed to hold 300 gigabytes of data in their first release, then a second version of the discs will hold up to 500 gigabytes, and eventually a third version of the discs will be able to store up to one terabyte of data, based on the roadmap plans of both companies. The agreement between Sony and Panasonic to jointly develop the upcoming generation optical media standard was first announced on 29 July 2013.
The Archival Disc standard jointly developed by Sony and Panasonic will utilise signal processing technologies such as narrow track pitch crosstalk cancellation, high linear density inter-symbol interference cancellation and multi-level recording.
The disc structure will feature dual sides, with three layers on each side, and a Land and Groove format. The track pitch is 0.225μm, the data bit length is 79.5 nm, and the standard will utilise the method of Reed-Solomon Code error detection. Sony expects the new standard to see usage in the film industry (such as storage of 4K resolution audiovisual data), archival services, and cloud data centres handling big data.
The disc format is not intended as a consumer storage medium as of present, but are intended by the two companies as a solution for professional-level data archival. In order to reach a larger capacity whilst ensuring higher playback signal quality, the standard will employ crosstalk cancellation and Partial Response Maximum Likelihood (PRML) signal processing. Both companies will market the optical format under their respective brands.
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