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Standard ECMA-396
Test Method for the Estimation of Lifetime of Optical Media for Long-term Data Storage

(December 2010)

This Ecma Standard specifies an accelerated aging test method for estimating the lifetime of the retrievability of information stored on recordable or rewritable optical disks. This test includes details on the following formats: DVD-R/RW/RAM, +R/+RW and CD-R/RW.  It may be applied to additional optical disk formats, with substitution of the appropriate specifications, and may also be updated by committee in the future as required. This document includes:

  • stress conditions (basic stress condition and rigorous stress condition testing for use with the Eyring Method and testing for use with the Arrhenius Method)
  • ambient storage conditions in which the lifetime of data stored on optical media is estimated
    - Controlled storage condition, e.g. 25 °C and 50 % RH, representing well-controlled storage conditions with full-time air conditioning. Eyring Method is used to estimate the lifetime under this storage condition.
    - Harsh storage condition, e.g. 30 °C and 80 %RH, representing the most severe conditions in which users handle and store the optical media. Arrhenius Method is used to estimate the lifetime under this storage condition.
  • evaluation system description
  • specimen preparation and data-acquisition procedure
  • definition of and  method for estimating lifetime of stored data on specified media
  • data analysis for  lifetime of stored data
  • reporting format for estimated  lifetime of stored data

The methodology includes only the effects of temperature (T) and relative humidity (RH). It does not attempt to model degradation due to complex failure-mechanism kinetics, nor does it test for exposure to light, corrosive gases, contaminants, handling, or variations in playback subsystems. Disks exposed to these additional sources of stress or higher levels of temperature and relative humidity are expected to experience shorter usable lifetimes.

The following file can be freely downloaded:

File name Size (Bytes) Content
ECMA-396.pdf 1 425 356 Acrobat (r) PDF file

This Ecma publication is also approved as ISO/IEC 16963.


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