A standard Blu-Ray disc might have enough storage space for a high-definition movie, but Pioneer is taking optical storage capacity to the next level by announcing “the world’s first” 16-layer disc capable of holding a massive 400GB of data.

Interestingly, the new discs are similar to Blu-ray disc technology (each of its layers have the same 25GB capacity) and slight changes to the hardware on a Blu-ray drive would allow the new Pioneer discs to be used on one. The disc developed so far is only read-only, and no mention has been made of writable 16-layer discs yet. Little else is known about these discs, though more information is expected at the Symposium on Optical Memory and Optical Data Storage 2008, which is being held on the 13 July in Hawaii.