17 Jun 2002
Nine consumer electronics companies have set a new DVD standard based on violet lasers.
Next generation DVDs will store six times more data than current discs thanks to specifications announced by nine consumer electronics makers.
By using a 405 nm semiconductor laser, the new video-recording format enables 27 Gbyte - equivalent to thirteen hours of TV broadcasting - to be contained on a single-sided, single-layer 12 cm DVD.
Licensing of the new format, called Blu-ray Disc, is set to begin in the next few months when specifications are completed. The consortium is also aiming to enhance the format by developing discs with a capacity of up to 50 Gbyte.
Increased recording density is achieved using a 0.85 numerical aperture lens in combination with the 405 nm laser. A 0.1 mm optical transmittance protection layer is also used to minimize aberration caused by disc-tilt and give a better readout.
The companies involved are: Hitachi, LG Electronics, Matsushita, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and Thomson Multimedia. Notably absent from the consortium are Toshiba, one of the first companies to commercialize DVDs, and JVC which has a vested interest in the conventional video format.
Jacqueline Hewett is news reporter on Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.