Hitachi-LG prototypes 1TB Blu-ray cartridge storage

The system is intended for archive storage of video files and could be here in 2011

Hitachi-LG Data Storage has developed a prototype data storage device that can automatically back up unused data to Blu-ray Disc cartridges, each capable of holding one terabyte (1TB) of data.

In day-to-day use it functions like a network-attached storage (NAS) unit with four hard-disk drive bays providing redundant storage. The difference comes in two additional slots for cartridges that hold eight discs.

Packed with Blu-ray Discs based on the new BDXL format, each cartridge can hold 1TB of data. BDXL was standardized earlier this year and offers 128GB of storage space on a write-once disc and 100GB on a rewritable disc. Each disc contains several recording layers.

The system is programmed to run automatic back-ups, transferring little-used data from the hard disks to the cartridge for back-up, the company said.

The cartridges also contain RFID chips that are intended to be read by a handheld scanner. The scanner would allow users to quickly find a particular file or find out what a cartridge contains.

For most consumers or professionals the creation of even a terabyte of data would take years, but users working with high-definition video can quickly generate massive amounts of data that needs to be archived. The system is meant for such users.

Hitachi-LG unveiled it at this week's Ceatec electronics show in Japan. It's still a prototype and isn't yet available. The company hopes to have it on the market sometime in 2011. The price is yet to be determined.

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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