TDK is one of the main ML alliance members. The company plans not only to ship ML-R/W media but also ML drives. TDK's proposal has the codename "MLCDRW1000" and will hit the market around Feb of 2002. The drive price is yet unknown and as it seems will support DVD playback format. At least Sanyo's LC898050 IC chipset supports it :-).
- 12x writing, 10x re-writing and 32x (or 40x) reading (CD format)
- 36x writing, 30x re-writing and 32x (or 40x) reading (ML format)
- ATAPI interface
- 4MB buffer
- Supports BURN-Proof (for CD/ML formats)
- Supports 12cm (2GB), 8cm (650Mb) and 6cm (200mb) ML-R/RW media
- Supported reading formats: CD, CD-R, CDR-W, ML-ROM, ML-R, ML-RW, DVDROM(?), DVD movies(?)
- Supported writing formats: CD-R, CD-RW, ML-R, ML-RW
TDK describes ML format as "...not a replacement for recordable DVD drives. The ML format is a bridge to the era of recordable DVD. For the next several years, however, there will be a tremendous demand in the market for a format that extends and enhances CD storage, speed and value. MultiLevel Recording technology can be transferred to the DVD platform, where it will offer similar gains in recording capacity and write speed. A 2Gbyte 120mm ML disc has a transfer rate of 5.4 Mbyte per second. ML could be used in a megapixel camera with an built-in 80mm ML disc drive, that records around 660 high-quality images on a 650 Mbyte ML disc. Or an MP3/CD player, which could deliver about four hours of music on a 60mm ML disc (approx. 200 Mbyte). A typical handheld video recorder could put approximately 3 hours of high-quality MPEG-4 video on the 650 Mbyte of a 80mm ML CD-R..."
In the recent WORLD PC EXPO 2001 show, TDK showed ML-R/W media, ML recorder, ML IC chipset from Sanyo Semiconductors and a portable(!) ML Audio player: