Sources at the DVD Format Verification Centre (DVD Forum) indicate that the 16x format specifications for DVD-RAM (Format Books v3.0 up to v6.0) are expected to be approved this month. As a result, the introduction of the first 16x DVD-RAM drives and media (ND-4550A) might possibly be further delayed until early October.
The new DVD-RAM specifications cover writing speeds from 6X to 16X. (5x recording has been already approved). At the 16x speed, the disc is spinning at 11,000 rpm, reaching the physical limits for the 12cm optical storage media. The new 16X DVD-RAM recorders will not be able to write at the slower 2x and 5x DVD-RAM recording speeds, which are characterized as "Class 0" devices.
The DVD Forum has introduced the "Class 1" format, that includes the 16x DVD-RAM devices and media. However, current "Class 0" drives will be able to read the new 16x DVD-RAMs. The Class-1 specifications also include the speeds 8X and 12X, which will be supported by slim-line drives, such as the upcoming NEC ND-7550A slimline burner, which writes all DVD formats at 8X (DVD-R DL at 6X) and can write DVD-RAMs at up to 8X.
The first "Class 1" compliant device is the NEC ND-4550A ATAPI multi-burner. The drive can write all single-layer DVD blanks as well as DVD-RAM at a maximum of 16X, RW blanks at 8X and double-layer blanks at 8X or 6X.
DVD+R DL 8x
DVD-R DL 6x
DVD+/-R DL 7x
Both ND-4550A and slim-type ND-7550A DVD burners will also support the LightScribe media labeling feature.