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Home > Essays > Optical Storage > 12x CD-RW

Tuesday, February 19, 2002
Sony Double Density CD Format

1. Basic Specifications

Double Density CD Format

Sony Establishes Double Density CD-ROM/-R/-RW Formats

----- Conventional CD technologies utilized to realize 1.3GB capacity -----
(Tokyo, Japan, July 5, 2000) Sony Corporation today announced plans to develop a "Double Density CD-ROM/-R/-RW (tentative name)" with 1.3GB data capacity. The Double Density CD formats are designed to provide a natural migration path for both consumers and manufacturers alike, as the new formats offer a low-cost solution to high capacity discs that inherit the basic specifications of the CD formats. This allows manufacturers to utilize their current CD technologies and production facilities to manufacture Double Density CDs.

The recent evolution of high performance processors and high capacity hard disk drives has empowered the PC to handle large audio, video and still image files. That in turn has raised the need for higher capacity CDs to store and share those files with other devices at the lowest running cost. In light of this market demand, Sony decided to develop the Double Density CD formats.

Double Density CD formats' high capacity is realized by a few simple modifications to the CD formats. To increase data density, track-pitch and minimum pit length are miniaturized to increase the data capacity from 650MB to 1.3GB. To accommodate higher physical bit density, a parameter in the error-correction scheme (CIRC) has been changed, and the address format (ATIP) has been expanded. A copy control scheme will be included in the format to meet the increasing demands for secure content protection. The remaining areas inherit the basic specifications of the conventional CD formats to make use of the existing CD infrastructure.

Royal Philips Electronics and Sony will license the Double Density CD formats together. Philips will serve as the licensing contact (see website The formats are being finalized for licensing by September 2000. As for compliant media, verification services are planned in the near future.

Basic Specifications of Double Density CD-ROM/-R/-RW formats

Double Density CD

Conventional CD

Data Capacity

1.3GB (2048B/sector)

CD-ROM (Mode1)/-R/-RW:
650MB (2048B/sector)



Objective Lens

Playback: NA=0.50
Record/Playback: NA=0.55

Playback: NA=0.45
Record/Playback: NA=0.50

Disk Size

Diameter: 120mm
Thickness: 1.2mm

Track Pitch

1.1 um

1.6 um

Minimum Pit Length

0.623 um

0.833 um

Scanning Velocity
(multiplies according to drive speed)

0.90 m/s

1.2 - 1.4 m/s

Error Correction





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