New super high
capacity CD technology offers dramatic advantages for video recording, portable
audio and data backup applications
Ability of multilevel technology to Triple Capacity and Write
Speed of CD-RW drives offers PC and CE manufacturers cost-effective new storage
options for Desktop, Convergence and Portable Products
CeBIT 22nd March 2001 - With its ability to store 2 GB of data
on a 120mm disc or 650 MB on a tiny 80mm ML disc, MultiLevel Recording is a
key enabling technology for PC and CE manufacturers seeking low-cost, high-density
storage in a broad range of desktop and portable products. That's the message
that TDK and Calimetrics are bringing to CeBIT, as the two companies demonstrate
the benefits of ML technology, which transforms familiar CD-RW drives into super
high capacity/super fast drives with the addition of a single ML IC. TDK and
Calimetrics are the founding members of an industry-wide alliance of companies
supporting ML technology.
The high capacity and low cost of ML media and drives give the
consumer electronics industry an important new storage alternative for future
video, audio and digital imaging applications. As an option for A/V recording
systems, such as archiving content from a personal video recorder's hard drive
or for recording Internet-delivered program material, a 2 Gbyte 120mm ML disc
is an extremely attractive personal-use storage solution. With it's transfer
rate of 5.4 Mbyte per second ML is as well an ideal tool for archiving desktop
and server data on a 120 mm 2Gbyte ML disc with an reliable and easy to use
CD-RW writer instead of a complicated tape streamer.
ML technology 80mm discs outperform the capacity of a standard
64 MB Flash memory card by 10 times and allows 650 Mbyte of music, photographs
or data to be stored on a tiny 80mm disc. ML could be used in a megapixel camera
with an built-in 80 mm 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 60 mm 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 80 mm ML CD-R.
The dramatic gains in capacity and speed offered by the new ML format makes
it the ideal bridge to the future optical disc formats. ML drives will be very
competitively priced at just a little more than CD-R/RW drives because the technology
is IC-based. Hardware manufacturers can add ML capability to their CD-R/RW drives
without altering existing optics, mechanics or manufacturing infrastructure.
From a media perspective, ML discs maintain the cost-per-megabyte efficiencies
of conventional CD-R and CD-RW discs and ML drives retain backward compatibility
with conventional CD-R/RW recording, enabling users to keep CD's universal compatibility
when so desired.
TDK and Calimetrics, Inc., the prime developer of MultiLevel Recording technology,
have formed the ML technology alliance to apply Calimetrics' MultiLevel Recordingä
(ML) technology to create a new high-speed/high-capacity recordable and rewritable
optical disc format based on the familiar and inexpensive CD-R/RW platform.
In addition to TDK and Calimetrics, members of the ML alliance
include: Sanyo Semiconductor, a leading manufacturer of controller chipsets
used by many CD-RW drive manufacturers; Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, a leading
maker of CD-RW media, sold under the Verbatim and Mitsubishi brands; and Plextor,
a leading manufacturer of high-performance CD-R/RW drives. TDK has established
a dialogue with leading CD-R/RW drive manufacturers such as Yamaha Corporation
and the Optical device division of Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd about joining the
ML is not envisaged as 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.
TDK intends to introduce internal and external ML drives and media to the
market later this year. The drives will be available with various connectivity
solutions such as ATAPI on the internal drive and IEEE1394 (FireWire) and USB2.0
on the external devices. The new write-once disc will offer the highest transfer
rate at the lowest cost per Mbyte of any random-access removable storage media.