Longevity Research

Optical Discs: The Only DIGITAL Format With a Lifetime of Over 50 Years

What are the best discs to use for archiving? (link to the Canadian Conservation Institute website)

MAM-A Gold Archive DVD+/-R Expected Lifetime: 116 years

This chart shows a silver DVD brand that failed in less than 500 hours, and another silver DVD brand that failed at 1300 hours. In comparison, the MAM-A Gold DVD continues to last in excess of 2200 hours, while still maintaining the very low error rate.

DVD Longevity Testing Guidelines

MAM longevity tests are conducted according to ISO 18927-2002 guidelines titled: "Imaging materials – Recordable compact disc systems – Method for estimating the life expectancy based on effects of temperature and relative humidity." The test consists of placing samples in an enviromental
chamber at specified temperature and humidity levels for five different "stress conditions."

A stress condition is defined by, for example, 2000 hours (in 500 hour segments) at 85% relative
humidity and 80 degrees centigrade. Temperature and humidity "incubation" periods are reached gradually
with the use of ramp times, to avoid bubbles forming in the media due to rapid transition.

Before beginning the test and after each incubation period, the discs are tested for error rates (Max PIE8
for DVD-R). Failure is defined by error rates that exceed 280 PIE8, as defined by the DVD Forum.

For a PDF version, click here or visit the Technical Papers page.

MAM-A Gold Archive CD-R Expected Lifetime: 329 years

The Light Fastness Test (upper left) shows that MAM Gold will withstand the full spectrum of light, same as the sun, for 100 continuous hours without damage.

Our competitors' discs, with cyanine dye, begin to deteriorate after only 20 hours and fails at 65 hours. The results are similar when discs are subjected to high heat and humidity (upper right).

Using data from tests like these, industry standard guidelines predict that MAM Gold CD-R will last greater than 100 years! (In fact, if you extend the chart [lower right], the data predicts a lifetime of up to 300 years before failing at the Orange Book limit of 220 CPS)

All MAM CD-R discs are manufactured with our patented Phthalocyanine Dye (thalo-sy-a-neen) providing the longest lived recordable media available.

Additional Information:

The Most Secure Digital Media (Powerpoint)

Canadian Conservation Institute - Longevity of Recordable CDs and DVDs (4MB
Canadian Conservation Institute Website

Links to NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology):

Stability Comparison of Recordable Optical Discs (PDF)


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