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Sony bought an intriguing piece of technology that came out of Facebook

Blu-ray disks

Two years ago, Facebook developed a prototype storage system that used 10,000 Blu-ray discs to capture one petabyte of data, the equivalent of 64,000 Samsung Galaxy S6 phones or 100 of HGST's 10TB hard drives.

That technology was developed by Frank Frankovsky who left the social network to found a startup called Optical Archive, one that has been acquired by Sony.

Sony is targeting the so-called cold storage market which has been growing exponentially thanks to the billions of selfies and videos created every year by smartphones and other portable devices.

A lot of that data is currently stored on hard disk drives and some of it on tape. However, such is the growth in the cloud storage market that hard disk drives are unlikely to be able to fulfil the demand.

With flash-based storage still excruciatingly expensive, one of the remaining few viable alternatives seems to be optical discs with Blu-ray being the prime candidate.

While the current mainstream technology has reached 50GB, the next generation may hit 300GB, which while impressive is still very far from the 220TB tape medium that IBM and Fujifilm are working on.