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Toshiba, partners develop recordable HD DVD

Posted: 09 Jun 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:hd dvd-r? recordable disk?

Toshiba Corp. and three partners announced development of HD DVD-R, the first recordable HD DVD format, as the industry continues its quest to settle on the next-generation recordable disk standard.

Despite much talk about a single recordable disk standard, proponents of both the HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc have for the time being proceeded with separate roll-out plans for their formats. In promoting HD DVD-R, Toshiba and its partners stressed that the disks can be produced in current DVD-R production lines.

To manufacture the disk, Toshiba, Mitsubishi Kagaku Media Co. Ltd (also known as Verbatim) and Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories Inc., an R&D company focusing on organic dies, collaborated to develop an organic dye. The dye is sensitive to blue laser beams and dissolves into solvent for a spin coating process.

Verbatim and Hitachi Maxell Ltd., both major optical disk suppliers in Japan, each developed disks and tested their performance.

At the DVD Forum in February, proponents of HD DVD-R developed a standard for a single-layer HD DVD-R disk with a 15Gbyte capacity.

In testing, the disks showed sufficient signal characteristics required for practical use in the range of 7mW to 10mW laser power. In the readout stability test, no deterioration was observed after more than 1 million cycles, according to Mitsubishi Kagaku Media.

With the same disk structure as DVD disks, HD DVD-R disks can be produced on existing DVD-R production lines. Only a replacement stamper is needed to press minute HD DVD address information along with a dye drum for newly developed blue-light-sensitive dye.

"It may be necessary to adjust existing in-line testers, but we are sure that switching from existing DVD-R lines for HD DVD-R production is practically possible during volume production operation," said Hidemi Yoshida, chief technology officer of Mitsubishi Kagaku Meida.

Toshiba is now developing technologies to speed up writing from double, 4x and eventually 8x, along with double- layered 30-Gbyte capacity disks, according to Hideaki Ohsawa, senior manager of Toshiba's Optical Disc Development Department.

The newly developed dye will be basically used for future disks, said Ohsawa.

Hitachi Maxell and Verbatim will start marketing HD DVD-R disks next spring timed with the launch of HD DVD recorders and PCs with built-in HD DVD writable drives by Toshiba. By the time the recordable products are introduced, Toshiba also intends to announce a HD DVD-RW disk.

Both Hitachi Maxell and Verbatim are involved in the Blu-ray Disc Association as well. While blue-light-sensitive dye can theoretically be used for Blu-ray Discs, Mitsubishi Kagaku Media's Yoshida said another dye would likely be developed for that format.

- Yoshiko Hara

EE Times

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