Sony and Panasonic plan next optical disk standard -

While home users can't really find a use for optical disks, it appears that Sony and Panasonic have not given up on the technology.

The pair have signed a basic agreement with the objective of jointly developing a next-generation standard for professional-use optical disks, with the objective of expanding their archive business for long-term digital data storage.

Both companies aim to improve their development efficiency based on the technologies held by each respective company, and will target the development of an optical disk with recording capacity of at least 300GB by the end of 2015.

Sony and Panasonic said they will talk about specifications and other items relating to the development of this new standard.

While they are no longer used in PCs, optical disks have uses in long term storage as they can be protected against the environment, such as with dust-resistance and water-resistance, and can also withstand changes in temperature and humidity when stored.

They also allow inter-generational compatibility between different formats, ensuring that data can continue to be read even as formats evolve.

Both companies have previously developed products based on Blu-ray but both Sony and Panasonic say that new optical disks will need to accommodate much larger volumes of storage in years to come, given the expected future growth in the archive market.