Blu-ray Disc to Hit 128GB

The Blu-ray Disc Association this week announced plans to release a new commercial high-definition disc format that will offer up to 128GB of write-once capacity within months.

The association also said it plans to release a rewritable disc format for consumers that will support up to 100GB of data, or twice the Blu-ray capacity available today.

The specifications for the BDXL (High Capacity Recordable and Rewritable discs) format for commercial use and IH-BD (Intra-Hybrid discs) for consumers are expected in the next few months, the Blu-ray Disc Association stated in a press release posted on its website.

The BDXL specification is targeted at filling the data archiving needs of broadcasting, medical and document imaging companies.

Discs meeting the specs will have write-once, read many (WORM) options with 128GB capacity discs and rewritable capability on 100GB discs. A consumer version of BDXL will be offered particularly in those regions where BD recorders have achieved broad consumer acceptance, the association added.

Today's Blu-ray discs come with single or dual recording layers with 25GB or 50GB capacity, respectively. The new formats will have three to four recordable layers.

"Professional industries have expressed a desire to find optical disc solutions that enable them to transition away from magnetic media for their archiving needs," said Victor Matsuda, Blu-ray Disc Association Global Promotions Committee chair, in a statement. "Leveraging Blu-ray Disc to meet this need provides professional enterprises with a compact, stable and long term solution for archiving large amounts of sensitive data, video and graphic images using a proven and widely accepted optical technology."

The IH-BD disc discs will incorporate a single BD-ROM layer and a single BD-RE layer, which allows a user to view, but not overwrite, data while providing the ability to include relevant personal data on the same physical disc.

'This allows for consumer specific applications where combining published content with related user data on a convenient, single volume is desirable," the association said.

Because both BDXL and IH-BD are specially designed formats with specific market segments in mind, newly-designed hardware is required to play back or record BDXL or IH-BD media. However, because the new media specifications are extensions of current Blu-ray Disc technology, future BDXL and IH-BD devices can be designed to support existing 25GB and 50GB Blu-ray Discs.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld . Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian , or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com .

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