Calimetrics, Inc. announced that its custom-designed MultiLevel (ML) chip is designed-in to TDK's new Two Gigabyte (2 GB) capacity CD-RW burner. Launch of the new drive marks the first availability of the ML read/write chip and ML media produced by Calimetrics' partners, Sanyo, TDK and Plextor, bringing new capacity and performance to the recordable CD market.
TDK's new ML-enhanced drive, slated for commercial shipment in the second quarter of 2002, is being demonstrated in TDK's booth (N235) at CES 2002, January 8 - 12. The working engineering model supports recording to both 2 GB ML-enhanced optical media blanks and conventional CD-R/RW discs. This support for both ``legacy'' CD-R/RW and enhanced media highlights the value of ML technology as a very cost-effective bridge to future higher capacity systems.
Development of the ML-enhanced drives and media is fostered by the ML Alliance, an informal consortium formed in late 2000 to support commercialization of the new technology. The group includes drive and media manufacturers, and component suppliers.
``We are very excited that TDK, a principal founder of the ML Alliance, is introducing the industry's first ML-enhanced drives and media,'' said Ken Campbell, president and CEO of Calimetrics. ``At an anticipated retail street price of $199 for the drive and $1.99 to $2.99 for media, TDK has proven that the cost premium of ML technology is minimal compared to the benefits of dramatically higher capacity and read-write performance. We're looking forward to seeing the availability of ML-enhanced products ramp up throughout 2002.''
The ML format extends and enhances the capacity, speed and value of CD technology. Implementing the technology requires the addition of a single integrated circuit (IC) to the standard electronics of current CD-R/RW drives, so manufacturers can add ML capability without altering existing optics, mechanics or manufacturing infrastructure. ML discs, which also incorporate enhancements to triple the available storage capacity compared to current technology, maintain the cost-per-megabyte efficiencies of conventional CD-R and CD-RW discs.