Sony and Panasonic have signed an agreement to jointly develop a next-generation standard for professional-use optical discs. The companies are looking at the development of an optical disc with recording capacity of at least 300GB by the end of 2015.   

Optical discs are dust-resistant and water-resistant, and can also withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored. They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve.

Both Sony and Panasonic have previously developed products based on Blu-ray, but optical discs will need to accommodate much larger volumes of storage. 

Sony previously commercialized a file-based optical disc archive system in September, 2012. Based on optical disc technology that Sony cultivated for its XDCAM series of professional broadcasting products, this system houses twelve optical discs within a cartridge as a single, high-capacity storage solution. Each disc within the cartridge holds 25GB capacity, offering a total range of storage capacities from 300GB to 1.5TB.

In July this year, Panasonic launched its ‘LB-DM9 series’ of optical disc storage devices. This series uses a dedicated magazine of just 20.8mm thickness 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 rapid data transfer performance of up to 216MB/s.