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Home > Essays > Optical Storage

Sunday, February 17, 2002
High Speed Re-Writing Format

1. Introduction

High Speed RW Technology - Page 1

It is unambiguously acknowledged that CD-ROM technology has moved from a proprietary Philips/Sony format during its introductory years back into the early eighties, to a universally accepted "de facto" standard for distribution of audio and data content. Both its original inventors continue to play, however, a parental role when new enhancements are being made and "ex-officio" standards are declared, aiming to "force" compatibility among the (possibly) diverging ways new innovators might choose to follow trying to extend the original technology.

Pushing the existing CD-R technology into new heights requires advances in existing media type formulations, new laser diode innovations, and faster, lighter and more accurately driven rotors. And all this is finally based on new designs and implementations of chips able to perform advanced DSP functions, encoding and decoding of data streams, and head positioning adjustments at a fraction of the time their predecessors were able to achieve.

The introduction of ReWritable media (CDRW) several years ago stipulated the dream of ReWritable disks replacing the good old floppy. But this came at a cost. The formulation of the new media differed drastically from that of the original plain recorded-once disks. The new media is manufactured by using materials which alter their laser-beam resistance according to changes of their crystalline / amorphous phase / state, while the construction of the former is based in dye technology.

This significant "advancement" made ReWritable disks incompatible with earlier drives. The newer readers had to be built according to certain criteria in order to be compatible with the new media. Standards were determined and at this exactly place the OSTA MultiRead specifications were released and essentially "enforced" compatibility among all new CD-ROM readers.




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