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New 100 GByte DVD format invented in Taiwan.

  6/19/2002 - Wednesday, June 19, 2002 5:37:01 AM MDT Albuquerque, Nm
  By Dustin D. Brand; Owner AMO

First it was the blue laser with 27 Gigs, now it could remain the red laser with 100.
  A new type of DVD format may replace the proposed blue laser format which was approved earlier this year. A group of researchers in Taiwan, led by physics professor Tsai Din Ping, have invented a new DVD format capable of storing 100 GigaBytes of data on the same size DVD Optical Disc.

  Instead of using a blue laser, the team used the tried and true red laser, but used near field optics - where the distance used for the interaction of laser and media is actually shorter than the wavelength of light used to make the recording on the media disc. The team added 2 layers to the disc to achieve the desired effect. The first layer added was a dielectric transparent spacing layer only 20-40 nanometers thick, while the second layer was the active layer used to interact with the focus point of the laser beam to create the near field effect and then transfer the mark to the recording layer.

  The team of researchers started with a standard 12cm diameter optical disk, and drew down the mark size from 400nm to 100nm. Most DVD's today have a readout range of between 30-40 decibals, and even with the low mark size, the team was able to maintain about 35db on the readout signal. Maintaing a good carrier to noise ratio at such a small mark size is a good sign for the new format.

  Other companies have also been working on new optical storage formats. Matsushita, to name one, built a dual layer readable and rewritable optical disc with as much as 50GByte storage, but they used a violet laser. Red lasers are still the mainstay in optical use today, and this is the main reason DVD players can still read CD Musical discs.

  While Tsai says the technology is ready to hit the market, a new drive, and a new chipset would be required to be manufactured first, and no one is doing that just yet. Even though, this new DVD format may just replace the formal "BluRay" DVD format proposal which maxes out at about 27 GBytes. Tsai says he thinks the market and technology still needs to come a long way before its needed, but the disk maker that funded the research study, Ritek Corp, plans to commercialize the product in 2005 or 2006.

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