Demand for archival optical discs to take off in 2020, says Ritek chairman

Demand for archival optical discs to take off in 2020, says Ritek chairman

Aaron Lee, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES Friday 21 December 2018

Global demand for archival optical discs is expected to grow explosively beginning 2020, according to chairman and CEO Gordon Yeh for blank optical disc maker Ritek.

While 70-80% of cloud computing data centers use magnetic tapes to store data currently, leading ones such as Facebook have begun to adopt archival optical discs featuring high storage capacity, high energy efficiency and long storage life, Yeh said.

As unit storage cost for using archival optical discs is decreasing toward the same level for using magnetic tapes and hard disk drives (HDDs) 1-2 years after, large growth in global demand for archival optical discs will take off in 2020, Yeh noted.

With specifications finished in 2014, archival optical discs came into commercialization in 2016, Yeh said. Ritek began to ship such optical discs in July 2018, with US-, Japan- and China-based cloud computing service providers being main clients, Yeh indicated. Ritek has fully utilized its production capacity for archival optical discs currently and expects the corresponding revenue proportion to exceed 10% in 2019, Yeh noted.

Along with fast growing use of Internet and cloud computing services, global demand for data storage is explosively growing. According to 2018 Cisco Global Cloud Index, total data traffic for all data centers around the world will increase from 6ZB (zetta byte, 1012 x gigabyte) in 2016 to 19.5XB in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate of 26.58%. Commercial operation of 5G services will further push up data traffic, with data centers’ global data traffic to grow from 1ZB in 2010 to 163ZB in 2025, Yeh cited forecast as indicating.

For cloud computing data centers, archival optical discs with storage lives of 50-100 years are the best choice for storing cold (infrequently accessed) data, Yeh indicated. Unlike use of archival optical discs, use of magnetic tapes entails consumption of power to control temperature and humidity and that of HDDs is unable to avoid power-consuming standby rotation of platters.

Ritek has reported consolidated revenues of NT$731.9 million (US$23.8 million) for November, shrinking 9.76% on month and 15.63% on year, and those of NT$8.614 billion for January-November, dropping 3.05% on year.

I would like to see those optical disk for end-consumers. After having some HDDs which lost it´s data without any clear reason I would like to backup my 2TB-HDDs on WORM-media; BD-R and BD-R DL have to small capacity, TL/QL are much to expensive