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posted by martyb on Saturday November 10 2018, @09:34PM   Printer-friendly
from the Better-than-NAND? dept.

Sony Releases Quad-Layer 128 GB BD-R XL Media

Sony is about to start selling the industry's first 128 GB write-once BD-R XL optical media. The discs will also be the first quad-layer BDXL media formally aimed at consumers, but bringing benefits to professionals that use BDXL today.

Although the general BDXL specifications were announced back in 2010 for multi-layered write-once discs with 25 GB and 33.4 GB layers, only triple-layer BDXL discs with a 100 GB capacity (generally aimed at broadcasting, medical, and document imaging industries) have been made available so far. By contrast, quad-layer 128 GB media has never seen the light of day until now.

As it turns out, increasing the per-layer capacity of Blu-ray discs (BDs) to 33.4 GB via a technology called MLSE (Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimation) was not a big problem, and most of today's BD players and optical drives support the BDXL standard. However, increasing the layer count to four while ensuring a broad compatibility, signal quality across four layers, yields, and some other factors slow downed release of 128 GB BDXL essentially by eight years.

Related: Ultra HD Blu-Ray Specification Completed


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Snotnose on Sunday November 11 2018, @12:31AM (7 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Sunday November 11 2018, @12:31AM (#760527)

    There's a saying that's been upgraded a few times to "never underestimate the bandwidth of CD-Rs on a 747". Started with tapes on a station wagon, but whatever.

    How long will these new fangled discs last? Some, damn I'm old, 30 years ago I bought some Ozric Tentacles CDs. They suffered from this thing call bit-rot, which you could actually see if you held the CD to a light source. If memory serves, somebody in the chain of command went bankrupt, which meant I couldn't replace my visually bad CDs.

    In the 80's I was told (via a huge Sony campaign) that CDs were indestructible.

    Sooo, Sony. How long will these disc last?

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by RedBear on Sunday November 11 2018, @11:16AM (2 children)

    by RedBear (1734) Subscriber Badge on Sunday November 11 2018, @11:16AM (#760619)

    In the 80's I was told (via a huge Sony campaign) that CDs were indestructible.
    Sooo, Sony. How long will these disc last?

    Whenever the M-DISC version comes out, they should theoretically last well past a century with almost zero probability of the type of "bit rot" you're talking about, which happens to cheaper media like organic dye based discs. I had a nice complete box set of Stargate SG-1 DVDs I got from Cosctco about ten years ago. A few years later at least a third of them were full of glitches or unreadable. M-DISC (Millennial disc) is interesting because it claims to use a non-organic, mineral based substrate that is highly resistant to damage from UV, moisture or temperature variations that will quickly destroy normal optical discs. Seems to mostly Verbatim marketing them.

    Besides M-DISC media and some "gold archival" stuff, I haven't seen any optical media that claims to reliably hold data more than a decade at the very most. Sadly, the same goes for offline spinning hard drives and all flash media and SSDs. Many solid state drives will start to lose data within a few months, hard drives within a few months or years. Well, there's tape media, which should last quite a long time and be readable even with a few errors if you use error correcting formats. But getting into tape in a useful capacity is very expensive.

    Then again, M-DISC is quite costly as well. Ten regular 100GB BD-XL discs are $50 ($5 each), just five M-DISC 100GB BD-XL discs cost $85 ($17 each). I won't be surprised if the 128GB M-DISC BD-XL will cost about $20-25 per disc. Still, in my research I haven't found any other reasonable alternatives for truly long term archiving of large amounts of data.

    But yeah, don't even bother with the non-M-DISC version of any optical media. And the largest capacity gold archival media I know of is just basic 4.7GB DVD-R discs. Not that useful these days.

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16 2018, @12:52AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16 2018, @12:52AM (#762437)

      I'm missing a mod type "Indeed" for your comment.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17 2018, @11:23AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17 2018, @11:23AM (#763043)

      Verbatim is now a sub-brand of them if I remember correctly, and they worked out an exclusive deal to market and produce the m-discs for Millenata.

      I have a couple of their discs, and for important old code, photos, etc they can't be beat. However I've switched to JVC/Optima 50 packs of 25GB BD-Rs which provide much more capacity per dollar. But even then I am finding it more sensible to just buy 1-4TB hard disks which can transfer data in a matter of minutes that will take a half hour or longer to burn, and restrict my burned media to stuff I am worried about getting accidentally deleted or corrupted on the hard disk. Just given dry weather and 50F-100F storage temperatures I've got drives that have lasted 10-30 years with minimal data loss (some even that had partial head failures in the 1990s which I just read off in the past few years once testdisk/photorec/dd_rescue got good enough. Given that, the odds are good that the hard disk will be just as recoverable in 20+ years as the BD-Rs will.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by deimtee on Sunday November 11 2018, @12:47PM

    by deimtee (3272) on Sunday November 11 2018, @12:47PM (#760628) Journal

    My stamped music CDs from the 80's and 90's all still play fine. I have some burnt Kodak Gold CDs that are over 15 years old that still play.
    Cheap disks I burnt for the car or got from friends don't do so well. Some of those have delaminated within a couple of years.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11 2018, @01:45PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 11 2018, @01:45PM (#760634)

    Tape is still king in size per space. Access not so much.

    Most CDR type media has a 'bit rot' because of the particular inks they are using. Put in a 'nice' environment and they would last nearly indefinably. Toss it in the back of your car in Florida? May last a couple of years.

    Some 'normal' CD type substrates have 2 different issues that can create bit rot. The metal substrate starts to rust. Causing a non reflective surface. Or one of the glue substrates decay and cause aberrations.

    I have CDs from the early 80s that are still good. I have DVDs from a couple of years ago that have come apart. It really depends on the manufacture of the item.

    For some use cases I could see this being desirable as a short term backup medium (1-2 years). Such as in a rotation schedule. Especially if they can keep the cost down to 1-2 dollars per disc. The 30+TB tape drives are still on the pricey side. I can buy a lot of BR blanks for 3 grand...

  • (Score: 2) by datapharmer on Monday November 12 2018, @12:26AM

    by datapharmer (2702) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 12 2018, @12:26AM (#760746)

    It is still tape. LTO-8 can hold 12TB uncompressed. It even probably powers the cloud (when it comes to pure storage) https://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/18/ipexpo_2012/ [theregister.co.uk]

  • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Monday November 12 2018, @05:02PM

    by urza9814 (3954) on Monday November 12 2018, @05:02PM (#760964) Journal

    In theory, you can buy expensive archival quality discs that will last quite a while. In practice...I can't find any for Blu-ray at the moment and I doubt they're really worth the price unless you've got some really niche use.

    The cheap, probably garbage discs that I *can* find, which in my experience probably won't last ten years if they're sealed, untouched, in a vault...those discs are still more expensive per gigabyte when buying in packs of a hundred than a large hard drive. Hard drives can fail too, but in my experience getting one to last a decade shouldn't be difficult, especially if it's powered down.

    Hard drives are also going to require less physical space than that stack of discs, so they'd give better bandwidth for that 747 too. Plus you won't have to sit through "Please insert disc number 103 of 200..." while writing your data! And it's re-writable, which is a nice bonus...

    Seriously, other than Netflix's dying mail rental segment, what use are these things? Is this all just for distributing PS5 games in a couple years?