Storage

Hitachi-LG prototypes 1TB Blu-ray cartridge storage for network backups

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.

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.

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.

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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