Sony cranks up optical disc storage to 3.3TB

The company also announces new disc drives to support the 3.3TB optical discs

Sony's Optical Disc Archive drive supports 3.3TB discs. Credit: Sony

Sony's Optical Disc Archive drive supports 3.3TB discs. Credit: Sony

Optical discs like Blu-ray are losing favor, but Sony and Panasonic don't seem to care. The companies have cranked up the storage capacity on optical media to a stunning 3.3TB.

That's a big advance in Sony's optical storage, which is based on technology used in Blu-ray. The 3.3TB disc is targeted at studios, filmmakers, and broadcasters that store large volumes of video, and at large companies that store infrequently modified data.

For example, video streaming companies could hold a large library of films in storage arrays with many optical drives. Instead of using PCs, servers in data centers could then pull out movies from the drives and serve them to users via the cloud.

The jump to 3.3TB is also a big jump from older optical media. The first CDs came out in 1982 with a capacity of 650MB, and DVDs came out in 1996 with a capacity of 4.7GB. Today's Blu-ray media can store up to 100GB of data, and earlier this year, Sony and Panasonic said they will ship 300GB media for optical archival systems in data centers.

Optical storage is keeping up with SSDs and hard drives in the race to cram more storage into drives and media. But unlike magnetic drives or NAND flash, optical storage isn't designed for regular reads and writes, limiting its use.

However, support remains for this form of optical storage because of reliability. Sony says the media will have a 100-year shelf life, longer than other storage technology.

It remains to be seen whether the new development would translate to an advance in capacity for Blu-ray discs. The current capacity is considered adequate for 4K films.

The 3.3TB media is part of Sony's second-generation Optical Disc Archive System, a successor to the original system launched in 2013. Sony also announced optical drives to support the new media. The new drives are faster than predecessors and generic Blu-ray drives, which have notoriously slow read and write times.

The optical drives will be available in the form of a USB drive unit that can plug into a computer's USB port, a fiber-channel library drive unit for storage systems, and Optical Disc Archive Cartridge for data centers. The drives will ship in the summer, Sony said.

The new media will work with Everspan, Sony's robotic storage system that can store up to 181 petabytes of data. Sony is offering Everspan as an alternative to tape or hard-drive storage in data centers.

Sony is encouraging companies to support the Optical Disc Archive System, which is being pitched as a new system to store archived data. Sony said 42 companies have created interfaces for the storage technology.

The 3.3TB media and drives were announced at NAB Show in Las Vegas, where Sony is also previewing several 4K video-related products.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags blu-raymovies

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?