Data storage

100TB cartridges to compete with hard drives and tape for data storage

By IST (Released)


Startup Folio Photonics aims to manufacture disk systems capable of storing 10TB to 100TB data in the same form factor as LTO tape.

Tech startup Folio Photonics is pushing optical disc storage past its four-layer maximum point to add a new archival storage medium to the market with a capacity closer to a hard drive, storage digital DNA and costs closer to tape.

Folio, a data storage startup, has created a new disc system that doubles the layers on each side of optical discs, increasing capacity to 1TB per disc, which is significantly larger than Blu-Ray’s 50GB .

Immutable Active Archive drives are expected to launch in either a 500GB or 1TB offering. The optical drive cartridge holds 10 drives, so in the future the cartridge will offer 10TB of storage in roughly the same form factor than an LTO tape.

The company plans to make a 100TB storage cartridge by 2030 that will also be in the same form factor, Folio Photonics CEO Steven Santamaria said in a Tech Target report.


fierce competition

While cloud storage remains a big part of mainstream storage, archiving and long-term data storage by hyperscalers and service providers has grown in popularity over the past decade.

Optical storage (DVD and Blu-ray) had been dominated by media such as silica or DNA and hard disks in the hotly contested field of archiving. However, Folio Photonics is looking to change the scene with its materials science + manufacturing of extruded film-based storage discs.

The technology behind

Folio’s breakthrough comes with a co-extruded film manufacturing process and advanced materials science. The unique manufacturing process allows the company to commercially expand manufacturing and keep costs affordable. With this, Folio is able to deliver high optical capacity at a fraction of typical optical storage costs.

While traditional Blu-ray discs are three or four layers, the archival disc has 6 layers with 3 layers on both sides. Folio’s first product will feature 8 layers per side, meaning it will be a 16-layer double-sided disc. That’s about 2.7 times the capacity of current Blu-ray, CEO Santamaria said.


Santamaria did not disclose performance metrics for the technology in the report. However, he hinted that it will be comparable to Sony ODA measurements.

Future goal and cost

Folio is currently targeting 10TB drives, but that will be determined by the market according to the CEO.

Vs disc cartridge carousel, in the form of Vs disc platter, will be chosen to serve different markets according to customer requirements.

Santamaria also mentioned that the company plans to create more than 32 layers by 2030 in its technology roadmap. This will allow 32 layers on each side, with each drive exceeding 10.7TB.

Folio Photonics is set to offer the storage product for $3 to $5 per dollar depending on market/business decision going forward.