Sony and Panasonic's "Archival Disc," which is described as "a new standard for professional-use, next-generation optical discs, are due in the second half of the year. The objective is to "expand the market for long-term digital data storage." Will Apple support it?
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. They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve.
Recognizing that optical discs will need to accommodate much larger volumes of storage going forward, particularly given the anticipated future growth in the archive market, Sony and Panasonic have been engaged in the joint development of a standard for professional-use next-generation optical discs. The result is the Archival Disc.
The optical disc has the same dimensions as a Blu-ray disc, is write-once, double-sided, triple-layered, and can store up to a record breaking 1TB of storage. Three capacities are planned for release — 300GB, 500 GB and 1TB — in summer 2015.
Apple has phased out optical drives on almost all its Macs. If you need one, you'll need to buy a US$79 USB SuperDrive. Perhaps Apple will support the Archival Disc with a SuperDuperDrive — though I doubt it. Oh well, we can aways hope for third party drives.