Pioneer says it is working on a new disc standard based on Blu-ray. The disc should offer 256GB of capacity, substantially more than existing Blu-ray standards, including some that are still in development.
Pioneer says the new standard records data in eight layers, which is impressive given the fact that most high capacity standards, including Blu-ray XL, rely on four layers. Pioneer hopes the discs will become a practical backup medium and at 256GB they could easily store all data found on the vast majority of consumer SSDs, which still range from 120GB to 256GB in capacity.
So what sets it apart from the ArchivalDisc, announced by Sony and Panasonic? ArchivalDisc can store up to 300GB, but it’s not compatible with Blu-ray.
The only trouble with both standards is that the market for optical storage is dwindling. SSDs are the new HDDs, while hard drives are slowly becoming the equivalent of tape storage in the eighties and nineties. Applications for high capacity optical storage are already limited and it’s getting worse.