Pioneer Corporation has a new world-first on its hands – it has created the first ever 16-layer, read-only optical disc. It has a capacity of 400 GB and every single one of its layers has the same storage as a Blu-ray disc. Pop that one in your pipe, Sony.
This is a big breakthrough for disc technology because up until now it has been extremely difficult to get clear signals from each layer without all information getting mixed up in the adjacent ones. Pioneer reckons it has cracked it and that this significantly increases the feasibility of large-capacity optical discs, which it expects to become more and more necessary in the future, and “will greatly reduce the number of discs to be used and therefore contribute to the conservation of resources.”
However, if we learned one thing from the high definition disc wars, it’s that optical media is on its way out. Hard discs are considerably more practical when it comes to read and write speeds and have a huge advantage over discs because you can screw them securely into the inside of computer cases. That way, idiot members of government can’t leave them lying around on the underground.
Here’s where this gets really interesting though – the press release reads: “Since the optical specifications of the objective lens, such as NA (Numerical Aperture), are the same as those for the existing BD discs, it is possible to maintain compatibility between the new 16-layer optical disc and the BD discs.”
I’m not sure if that means Blu-ray disc players will (in theory) be able to read the same 400GB discs or that the future players will be backwards compatible with both. The latter seems more likely, guess the super-HD wars are definitely on then.
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