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Thursday, March 18, 2004
CeBIT 2004 Exhibition

14. Plasmon


Focused on the industry market, Plasmon’s booth was full of professional data storage equipment. The capacity and price of these special towers are beyond the normal user's imagination. One tower only is able to contain about 20 TB of data, so its high price makes it unapproachable to the normal user. It is interesting, though, to have a closer look at the technology used by today's forerunners as this is what in a couple of years will have become more commonplace among the average users desktop.

Using UDO (Ultra Density Optical) technology, Plasmon drives can provide decades of professional and reliable storage for archived data. The drives are available in three different configurations: accessory drives for Plasmon G-series libraries, internal drives for integration in third party systems and external stand-alone drives. They all use "blue-laser" technology.

Blue laser technology offers 30GB of storage on dual face, single layer, 130mm, cartridge contained optical discs. UDO media, consequently, offer a three-fold increase in storage capacity compared to previous generation MO (Magneto Optical) and DVD technologies. The removability of UDO cartridges, combined with the on-line media management capabilities of optical storage libraries, means that scalability is essentially unlimited. UDO has fast 25-millisecond random access capability, facilitating timely retrieval of relevant data. This is outside the reach of today's non-DVD-RAM based PC and consumer optical drives.

An 8KB sector size optimizes read/write performance by operating at Constant Angular Velocity (CAV). During both reads and writes, the media spins continuously at the highest possible rate. In rewritable applications, UDO features a unique direct overwrite capability, doubling rewrite speeds by eliminating the need for a dedicated erase pass.

As we have already posted on our news section, a special optical disc proposed by plasmon has been chosen by NASA as the optical storage data transportation medium for the unmanned mission to Mars. The disks are already on the Martian surface.

A UDO library in action.

Increased demand for the availability of more UDO media in the market, due to some recent large volume sales to major American and European companies, resulted for a need of a second media supplier. So, Plasmon has recently licensed its technology to Verbatim. The latter will soon become the second authorized UDO media provider in this new and expanding market.

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