The new 16X DVD-RAM media and recorders will be available in the begining of 2006. The high-speed recording was achieved by using a new phase-change material, manufactured by Hitachi-Maxell. The Optical Pick-up Unit (OPU) prototype used for 16x writing is developed by NEC and Panasonic.
The 16x rating is a maximum, with the new drives writing across a range of speeds from 6x up to the higher figure, with 16x discs spinning at a constant rotational speed rather than the constant linear velocity approach used in previous versions of the format. The upshot is that while 16x drives will read and write 5x discs, drives rated for 5x can't read or write to 16x media.
Another issue is that the new 16x DVD-RAM media do not support a high overwriting cycle, which means that the discs will perform the best before 10,000 overwrites (100,000 for the 1x, 2x, 3x media).
Besides the traditional DVD-RAM backers LG and NEC, Pioneer will support DVD-RAM recording in its next DVD burners. Both NEC's ND-4550A and ND-4551A and the slim lINE models ND-7550A and ND-7551A are also expected to write DVD-RAM at 16X and read them at 5X. Pioneer will launch a DVD-RAM enabled version of the DVR-110 (DVR-110D) in the following weeks.
"We expect to ship "Super Multi" recordable DVD drives for PCs with 16X DVD-RAM capability by the end of 2005" says Mr. Mitsuhiko Nakata, Panasonic Shikoku Electronics Co., Ltd., general manager. Mr. Ishikawa, Hitachi Maxell Ltd., general manager followed by stating "Maxell plans to introduce 16X DVD-RAM media shortly". Tony Jasionowski, RDVDC's Director of North America and Europe stated "DVD-RAM has always been ahead in the speed race compared to all other rewritable DVD formats. RDVDC formats continue to dominate the worldwide consumer recordable DVD market. With the introduction of the new, world's fastest 16X DVD-RAM, RDVDC continues to solidify its technology and market leadership."
The RDVDC has also been administering and promoting the use of "RAM-Compatible" logos as an easy way for consumers to identify DVD-RAM compatible products in the market. In addition RDVDC's Compatibility Working Group (CWG) has been insuring that DVD-RAM compatibility is maintained among our member's DVD-RAM hardware, media, software and related products. There is a clear growing market trend towards "Super Multi" drives and recorders with DVD-RAM support due the fact that DVD-RAM is already well established in consumer video recorders and DVD camcorders.