TDK pumps Blu-ray capacity up to 200GB per disc

TDK has reached a landmark in the development of recordable blue laser technology by achieving a groundbreaking capacity of 200GB. Surpassing existing optical media technologies several times over, a 200GB blue laser disc would double the capacity of TDK’s existing 100GB Blu-ray prototype. One of TDK’s new 200GB blue laser discs could store approximately 18 hours of high definition video (encoded at 24Mbps).

The initial Blu-ray Disc standard allows for 25GB single layer Blu-ray Discs and 50GB dual layer Blu-ray Discs. However, a recent signal processing innovation stretches the physical limits of optical media, realizing 33.3GB capacity for each of the disc’s six layers. As with the 100GB disc, and other Blu-ray Disc media, TDK’s 200GB blue laser disc is single-sided.

Bruce Youmans, TDK Vice President of Product Research & Development, said in the press release: “The ultra-ambitious technology roadmap for Blu-ray has now been confirmed as realistic, with landmarks such as this proving the long term value of the format against its rivals. TDK was the first to develop a prototype 100GB recordable Blu-ray Disc, and yet again, our landmark achievement in creating a 200GB disc is affirming the company’s position as a true pioneer in advancing the capabilities of optical media.”

TDK’s 100GB prototype disc uses four 25GB layers to reach 100GB capacity. For the 200GB technology development, TDK has stretched the physical margins of the Blu-ray Disc format, enabling a disc to store up to 33.3GB per layer while staying within the tolerances of the BD playback specifications.

TDK has already been able to achieve 6x (216Mbps) recording speed on a 25GB write-once Blu-ray Disc prototype.

Full press release here.

[Attribution: Macsimum News. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Rainy Day” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: HD DVD is sounding even more anemic with this news.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced on March 10, 2005 that Apple was “pleased to join the Blu-ray Disc Association board as part of our efforts to drive consumer adoption of HD.”

According to The Blu-ray Disc Association’s website, HD DVD’s pre-recorded capacities are 15 GB for a single layer disc, or 30 GB for a double layer disc. Blu-ray Disc provides 67% more capacity per layer at 25 GB for a single layer and 50GB for a double layer disc. It’s par for the course that Apple backs the superior format while Microsoft supports the inferior one.

It does, however, bear noting that Apple is playing both sides of the fence in a wait and see mode. According to a press release from April 17, 2005, “Apple is committed to both emerging high definition DVD standards—Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD. Apple is an active member of the DVD Forum which developed the HD DVD standard, and last month joined the Board of Directors of the Blu-ray Disc Association.”

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29 Comments

  1. Keyword: prototype – don’t expect to see this any time soon. It’s good that they are working on it, but it’s going to be a while before it’s consumer ready. I won’t be making $100.00+ coasters any time soon. There is also the fact that current single-layer write-once Bluray media is more expensive than hard drive space – for now. Interesting, but companies enjoy bragging rights like this. I’ll check back in 5 years.

  2. Backwards compatibility is over-rated. HD-DVD is a stop gap, which would have been great 5 years ago… Blu-Ray already holds more data and deserves to win this round.

    That said, not everyone has the ready cash to spend on such “luxuries” (as they’re currently priced at such.)

    I’d really like to see an upgrade facility provided too… one where DVD’s are swapped out for next-gen discs for a minimal charge… if I pay for the licence to watch such and such a movie on a DVD, why do I have to pay yet again to get it on blu-ray (or HD-DVD?) Not forgetting some who upgraded from video-tape either.

    Oh, and I’d also like hypersonic air transportation too, but neither this nor “upgradeable” discs will happen in the near future.

    And they wonder why people steal movies!

  3. It’s gonna be more important for the home user to be able to back up large quantities of data. Not just stuff like account etc but video files, photos, music. I’ve got 3 gigs of photos and 20 gigs of music. If I wanted to backup my video stuff that would be another 100 gig in the last 3 years.

    If Blu-Ray can do 200 gigs on one disk, it can handle a lot of data backup for the home user that will be needed in the next 5 years.

  4. You’re correct, Jon, I wouldn’t get too excited. In five years time Blu-Ray discs will be replaced by something better and less expensive and end up as high-tech coasters like purchasers of HD-DVD discs can attest today.

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