Archival Disc to be next Blu-Ray

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Image caption The firms have a logo for their new disc

Sony and Panasonic have named the next-generation storage discs that will be the successor to Blu-Ray.

They revealed it will be called the Archival Disc. It will eventually hold 1TB of data, the equivalent of 250 DVD films.

300GB versions of the discs will be launched in 2015.

They will be aimed at big companies that need to store vast amounts of data.

The firms signed an agreement to work on the next-generation storage medium last summer.

The first iteration will be a double-sided disc with three layers of data per side with 300GB capacity, it revealed.

Current dual-layer Blu-ray discs can store up to 50GB of data.

Over time the firms will roll out 500GB and 1TB versions of the disk, a joint statement from the firms said.

Holographic systems

In an era of digital and cloud storage, some have questioned the point of such discs but actually such systems are crucial, thinks Gartner analyst Paul O'Donovan.

"If you want to hand on your photos to your grandchildren we are going to need somewhere to store it all," he said.

"Cloud servers have to store massive amounts of data and have to be able to hold on to it for a long time."

Panasonic and Sony were also keen to talk up the benefits of physical discs.

"Optical discs have excellent properties to protect themselves against the environment, such as dust-resistance and water-resistance, and can also withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored," the firms said in a statement.

Facebook has begun installation of 10,000 Blu-ray discs in a prototype storage cabinet as back-ups for users' photos and videos.

Such a system will reduce its costs by 50% and use 80% less energy compared to traditional storage, the firm said.

Fujifilm is developing a 1TB optical disc that uses two-photon absorption technology, for release in 2015.

"Eventually we will have molecular, holographic systems which will store data in three dimensions," said Mr O'Donovan.

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