Earlier this year Blu-ray discs officially broke the 100GB barrier with the introduction of two new media specifications, BDXL (High Capacity Recordable and Rewritable discs) and IH-BD (Intra-Hybrid discs). And while larger-capacity disc prototypes have been touted many times before, this week at the CEATEC trade show in Japan TDK demonstrated one of the most ambitious to date: a 16-layer disc capable of storing 32GB per side on each layer, or up to 1TB of data.
The company has apparently overcome most of the problems that would stop its new disc from being viable. According to Tech-On, the technology uses the same laser system as existing Blu-ray players, meaning that it should be relatively easy for manufacturers to upgrade their devices to support the new high-capacity discs. Read speeds are also equivalent of Blu-Ray, while error rates for reading out data are within acceptable limits for commercialization.
Unfortunately, there’s still one major roadblock ahead: size. While the discs themselves are no harder to manufacture than current Blu-ray media, at nearly 3x the thickness TDK's new discs face an issue with the optical lens when trying to read the inner layers. The company believes the technology will scale down, though, and hopes to commercialize it as an affordable storage solution for home users as well as businesses in a number of different markets.