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Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Breakthrough development of dual-layer 30GB HD DVD-R disks

In a joint project, Clariant and Toshiba achieved a breakthrough in the development of the new generation of DVDs: high-density, recordable-once dual-layer HD DVD-Rs (High-Definition recordable DVDs) based on organic dyes, with a storage capacity of 30GB.

Based on their knowledge in single-layer recording HD DVD-R organic dye technology, Clariant and Toshiba developed highly advanced functional organic dyes for both recording layers L0 and L1 that are required in dual-layer disks and significantly increase the disk storage capacity for this new disk type. The dyes offer very high reflectivity, good transmittance, high thermal conductivity, as well as the high sensitivity required for this technology. HD DVD-R DL has already been discussed in the DVD Forum; it is expected that the final specification will be released this year. Clariant will introduce the new dyes for HD DVD-R in the Optofast? range and already started to promote them among disk manufacturers all over the world. The new HD DVD-R disks based on organic dyes with 15GB/30GB will be the next solution in optical recording technology, turning personal computers into real entertainment devices.

Blue laser for higher storage capacity and superb quality In the past years, there has been an increasing demand for higher recording density of optical information media. The recent spread of networks, such as the Internet, and the emergence of high-definition television (HDTV) broadcasting require low-cost and convenient recording media that are capable of recording image information at increased capacity. By employing a blue diode laser with a wavelength of 405 nm, the HD DVD can increase the data storage of up to 45 Gigabytes, almost 10 times higher than the current single-sided DVD with only 4.7 Gigabytes capacity.

Ringing in the new HD DVD age
With 15GB for a single-layer disk and 30GB for dual-layer disk, the new HD DVD-R can hold more than one 4-hour complete high-definition quality movie. With the movie industry having declared its support for the HD DVD format, the road is free for the new generation of HD DVD-R disk media. The new disk age is to begin at the end of 2005, when the first HD DVD players and PC drives will be brought to market.

Good news for DVD manufacturers
Both DVD and HD DVD are based on the same disk structure, back-to-back bonding of two 0.6-millimeter-thick substrates, with the result that already existing DVD-R manufacturing equipment can be switched to HD DVD-R production. Hence manufacturers can make full use of current production facilities and minimize their additional investment costs. The use of organic dyes for these disks is very cost-efficient by using the economical spin-coating process for the recording layer. This will allow manufacturers to produce at costs close to those for current DVD with even lower cost per Gigabyte and offer the new disk on the market at reasonable price.

HD DVD ? the disk of the future
1.4 billion recordable and rewritable DVD disks were produced in 2004, 90% of them writeonce disks. It is to be expected that the next generation HD DVD-R, with its improved audiovisual quality and storage capacity, will be just as big a market. ?We are very proud to be working with the market and technology leader Toshiba in this big breakthrough project to develop organic dyes for single- and dual-layer disks,? says Dr. Martin Winter, in charge of the Project Optical Data Storage at Clariant?s Pigments & Additives Division; ?this cooperation is a perfect match of two leaders ? Clariant in the field of specialty chemicals, organic dyes and pigments, and Toshiba as the inventor of the HD DVD format.?

A joint project - Clariant and Toshiba
?Clariant?s announcement underlines that building on the established base of DVD supports technical advances that make HD DVD a viable, proven format ready to bring recording of highdefinition content to the market. This breakthrough in organic dye for HD DVD-R disks by one of Europe?s leaders in specialty chemicals also indicates the global dimension of support for the format,? said Hisashi Yamada, Chief Fellow of Toshiba?s Digital Media Network Company.

?DVD-R disks are big winners in today's market, and are an essential of a vibrant HD DVD-R market. Clariant?s groundbreaking work, which allows application of the economical spin-coating process to disk manufacture, brings that process closer to the industry and consumers.?

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