Pioneer’s New Blu-ray Discs Are Guaranteed to Last a Century

Japanese manufacturer Pioneer developed a new BD-R discs that is guaranteed to store data for at least 100 years.

As PC Watch(Opens in a new window) reports (via Tom’s Hardware(Opens in a new window)), a revision to the Electronic Book Preservation Act(Opens in a new window) in Japan means there’s currently a big shift among Japanese businesses and government agencies to store records digitally rather than on paper. In order to do that, a large-scale data storage medium is required that can be relied upon for decades to come.

Pioneer’s solution to this problem is a new external USB 3.0 Blu-ray optical drive called the BDR-WX01DM(Opens in a new window) and 25GB BD-R discs called IPS-BD11J03P. When used together, they produce discs that conform to the JIS X6257 standard(Opens in a new window) for guaranteed long-term storage of data, which Pioneer claims is a world’s first.

Pioneer is using the label “DM for Archive” on the discs and player. What you’re getting is an optical drive capable of writing discs at 12x that will then retain their data for a 100 years or more. The drive is made to a higher standard than typical Blu-ray burners, but I’d be surprised if they will still be working 100 years from now, especially if they are being used to burn discs on a daily basis.

As you’d expect, both the optical drive and the discs carry a premium price. The BDR-WX01DM costs around $400 and the 25GB discs are $16 each. Additional costs will be incurred for ensuring the discs are stored in a suitable environment (within specific temperature and humidity ranges) and precautions need to be taken to protect them from disasters such as floods and earthquakes.

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Relying on optical discs to backup data 25GB at a time may seem acceptable now, but the world produces zettabyes of data(Opens in a new window) every year. New methods of long-term storage are required, which is why Microsoft is looking at using DNA to solve the problem and has already stored the 1978 movie Superman on a quartz glass drive that will last thousands of years.

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