Enhancements include larger capacity discs

Blu-ray discs have been around for a long time now, and really took off in adoption thanks to the PlayStation 3. When the format first came out it was mostly for HD movies and killed off HD DVD. Today the format is still big for movies and it is used for storing large amounts of data on optical discs with a Blu-ray burner. Blu-ray players have only recently dropped to sub-$100 prices. The lower price should push adoption of the format.

The Blu-ray Disc Association has announced that formal enhancements to the Blu-ray specification are coming soon. The new enhancements will include a new BDXL specification that targets are markets where archiving large quantities of data is common such as broadcasting, medical, and document imaging.

The BDXL specification will have discs that are write-once and will store 100GB and 128GB of data per disc. There will be rewritable discs that can store 100GB of data. The 100GB disc will have three recordable layers and the 128GB disc will have four recordable layers. A version of the BDXL specification is also coming that is targeted at consumers.

“Professional industries have expressed a desire to find optical disc solutions that enable them to transition away from magnetic media for their archiving needs,” said Victor Matsuda, Blu-ray Disc Association Global Promotions Committee chair. “Leveraging Blu-ray Disc to meet this need provides professional enterprises with a compact, stable and long term solution for archiving large amounts of sensitive data, video and graphic images using a proven and widely accepted optical technology.” 

The second new enhancement is an Intra-Hybrid disc or IH-BD. This disc incorporates a single BD-ROM layer and a single BD-RE layer. The BD-ROM layer is a read only layer that allows a maker to put content on the disc that can’t be changed. The BD-RE layer is a write once layer that allows the user to add their own data and content or the disc. Each of the layers on the IH-BD will hold 25GB of data and are designed to work on existing 25GB and 50GB discs.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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