Cloud computing has slow rolled its way into our everyday lives, and these days we rely on the cloud for more services than ever. The cloud changed the way we buy games (Steam, for example) and watch movies and TV shows (hello Netflix and Hulu), but is the death of the optical disc drive nigh? Not as far as Sony and Panasonic are concerned. Rather than write optical's obituary, the two firms are working together to create optical discs with recording capacity of at least 300GB by the end of 2015.
Running low on blank optical discs? Stock up now before prices shoot up.
It's never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket, and if that's how you feel about cloud backups, there's a good chance you're also still using optical discs to store your precious data. If so, now would be a good time to assess your optical disc inventory and, if necessary, stock up on more media. Otherwise, you might end up paying a 50 percent premium by the second half of 2013.
More and more folks are turning to cloud services like Dropbox to store their oh-so-precious private data, but when it comes to truly valuable info, it's still a good idea to keep a physical backup disc around in case those virtual services crap out on you. Then again, CDs and DVDs scratch waaaaay too easily and have limited shelf lives. If you've ever been screwed by a big gouge across an important backup disc, you might want to check out the new optical media that's hitting the market soon. Supposedly, it lasts forever, and the Department of Defense vouches for its resiliency.
Panasonic, Royal Philips, Sony, and TDK will be on hand at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to accept the 62nd Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Award being given to Blu-ray Disc technology, CNet reports.
"Sony began development of blue-laser optical technology in the late 1990s, realized the world's first high-definition recording on 20GB optical media by using blue-violet laser, and has contributed greatly to the continuous development of the Blu-ray Disc format," Jun Yonemitsu, deputy senior general manager of the company's home entertainment development division, said in a statement.
It's been somewhat of a bumpy road for Blu-ray, which launched back in 2006. At the outset, HD-DVD put up a valiant fight for control of the high-definition media market, and more recently consumer attention has turned to streaming services, such as Netflix. At present, there are 1.4 billion Blu-ray movies and TV shows, as well as 50 million Blu-ray players and recorders, 41 million PlayStation 3 consoles with integrated Blu-ray support, and over 25 million Blu-ray readers and writers.
All the talk about high-capacity media has focused on BDXL, which are Blu-ray discs capable of storing up to 128GB of data, but TDK has other plans. During the Ceatec trade show in Japan, TDK revealed an optical disc that can hold 1TB of data.
The prototype disc is comprised of 16 layers, each one able to store 32GB of code on both sides of the disc. For the sake of comparison, current Blu-ray media tops out at four layers.
TDK said it used a material with a high light transmittance, which "has already been used for part of a Blu-ray disc." In addition, the disc requires a beam with a numerical aperture of 0.85, the same for Blu-ray media, so there shouldn't be any problem there either. The only issue, says TDK, is in the thickness of the disc.
"According to the specifications of the Blu-ray Disc, the thickness of a recording layer has to be 100μm or less," TDK said. "But the recording layer of the new disc is 260μm in thickness. And it causes the aberration of an optical lens."