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DVD+RW Alliance demonstrates dual-layer DVD+R

Philips will demonstrate its new dual-layer DVD recordable technology at the DVD+RW Alliance booth at the CEATEC JAPAN 2003 exhibition. Developed by Philips Research in cooperation with MKM (Mitsubishi Kagaku Media)/Verbatim, the technology virtually doubles data storage capacity on DVD recordable discs from 4.7 Gbyte to 8.5 Gbyte while remaining compatible with existing DVD Video players and DVD-ROM drives.

Users will benefit from the additional storage capacity of the DVD+R disc as it will enable them to record 4 hours of DVD-quality video or 16 hours of VHS-quality video, without the need to turn over the disc. PC users will be able to archive up to 8.5 Gbytes of computer files on a single disc, which almost doubles the storage capacity compared with the 4.7Gbytes for the single-layer DVD+R discs currently available. The dual-layer DVD+R system uses two thin embedded organic dye films for data storage separated by a spacer layer (see figure). Heating with a focused laser beam irreversibly modifies the physical and chemical structure of each layer such that the modified areas have different optical properties to those of their unmodified surroundings. This causes a variation in reflectivity as the disc rotates to provide a read-out signal as with commercially pressed read-only discs.

Initial investigations were started by Philips Research around 2 years ago at a time when there was general scepticism throughout the optical storage industry that compatible dual-layer DVD recordable would ever be possible. Developments since then, initially by Philips and later in cooperation with media manufacturer MKM, have dispelled this scepticism and the new dual-layer DVD+R technology is now fully endorsed by the DVD+RW Alliance.

The DVD+RW Alliance is setting an aggressive feature and performance roadmap, and the dual-layer DVD+R format book is expected to be ready within this year. Recorders for both the PC and consumer electronics markets are expected to become available during the course of 2004.


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