Sony has announced a new range of optical archiving drives and media at the 2012 NAB event.
The optical disc based storage units can store anywhere from 300GB to 1.5TB of data per cartridge, and is set to take on tape backup as the preferred way to archive large amounts of data for broadcasters and corporations.
The ODS-D55U drive unit takes ODC1500R disk cartridges that are available in capacities ranging from 300GB to 1.5TB. The design is similar to a prototype first shown in September last year, in which 12 optical discs, believed to be Blu-ray based, were housed in a single cartridge. With the smallest Blu-ray disc being 25GB and the largest quad layer discs being 125GB, multiplied by 12, this gives the 300GB to 1.5TB capacity of the new optical archive system.
The size of the cartridge also suggests that it works very much like a mini disc carousel system, with one disc in the cartridge selected for read/write at any one time, suggesting writing and reading speeds will not benefit from parallel I/O. But with the system designed for archival purposes, the need for frequent high speed reading (and writing) may not be of paramount importance.
Sony is also forming an Optical Disk Archive Advisory Group to promote the adoption of this new format.