This International Standard provides a methodology that includes the testing of newer, currently available products. This test includes details on the following formats: DVD-R/-RW/-RAM, +R/+RW and it may be applied to additional optical disk formats with the appropriate specification substitutions.

ISO/IEC 10995 covers the following aspects:

  • stress conditions
  • assumptions
  • ambient conditions
  • evaluation system description
  • specimen preparation
  • data acquisition procedure
  • data interpretation.

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, and variations in playback subsystems. Disks exposed to these additional sources of stress or higher levels of T and RH are expected to experience shorter usable lifetimes.

It is an outline of steps to estimate the life expectancy value, as a function of ambient temperature and relative humidity, and used to determine if a disk will or will not exceed a life expectancy of X-years.

Dr Yoshinobu Mitsuhashi, chairman of the ISO/IEC subcommittee (JTC 1/SC 23) that worked on the standard, comments: “Digital supports allow important storage capacities but the question is the perennity of these data. The implementation of ISO/IEC 10995:2008 will allow a storage for a known duration and thus a surer management of archived data.”

ISO/IEC 10995:2008 was prepared by Ecma International (as ECMA-379) and was adopted, under a special “fast track procedure”, by the joint technical committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology, in parallel with its approval by national bodies of ISO and IEC.

ISO/IEC 10995:2008, Information technology — Digitally recorded media for information interchange and storage — Test method for the estimation of the archival lifetime of optical media costs 120 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing & Communication department (see right-hand column).