Storing information on electronic media has long been a very difficult task, which sometimes turned into a serious problem. For example, in Japan, some tax-related information must be retained for at least 100 years. For exactly this case, Pioneer has introduced Blu-ray discs with a guaranteed lifetime of over a century.
According to portal Tom’s hardware, Japan’s Electronic Books Preservation Act requires certain tax records to be stored electronically for at least a century. The problem is that existing media from SSDs to HDDs and tape drives and optical discs can’t last as long. For example, the same magnetic tapes that are widely used to archive data can guarantee the security of information for 30-50 years.
Luckily for the Japanese, Pioneer has found a solution to this problem by introducing the BDR-WX01DM USB 3.0 (Type-A) Blu-ray drive plus 25GB discs, codenamed IPS-BD11J03P. The drive and media comply with the Japanese quality standard JIS X6257 and are marked for use in digital archives.
The drive itself has special dust protection, reliable mechanics and electric motors. It is also known to be compatible with M-DISC (Millennial Disc) media, theoretically capable of maintaining performance for up to a thousand years. The model retails for $400 before taxes.
Of course, Pioneer’s IPS-BD11J03P discs are also more expensive than regular Blu-rays at $16 for a three-pack of 25GB each. Note that discs must be stored under special conditions with temperature and humidity controls. The manufacturer also recommends storing the drives protected from fire, earthquakes and other natural disasters – only then is a guaranteed function guaranteed for at least a century. Considering that companies and organizations should become the main users, the high cost of maintaining the archive should not be a big problem.
It is known that Warner Bros. and Microsoft were collaborating on a “proof of concept” as part of the Project Silica initiative. The Microsoft project involved using lasers and AI to store information in a fused silica briquette. As a result, the 1978 Superman film could be shot on a 7.5×7.5×2mm plate. Information is expected to be stored for thousands of years.