TDK will begin shipping a rewritable 50GB Blu-ray disc this week, and is already working on a prototype 200GB disc big enough to hold 18 hours of high-definition video.
The company has been selling a rewritable 25GB Blu-ray disc since the beginning of the year and recently announced a 100GB prototype.
The 50GB disc with a double recording layer structure will be the centrepiece of TDK's presence at Internationale Funkausstelung, the world's largest consumer electronics trade show, in Berlin from 1-6 September.
"The introduction of Blu-ray disc is one of the most significant product launches in the company's history," said Jean-Paul Eekhout, TDK's European director of corporate strategy.
"Innovations such as hard coating and inorganic recording material have played an essential role in the development of the cartridge-free Blu-ray disc. "
TDK Blu-ray discs are manufactured at the company's Chikumagawa Techno Factory in Japan.
Recommended retail pricing is €35 for a 50GB BD-R (write once) disc and €45 for a 50GB BD-RE (write many) disc.
The initial Blu-ray disc standard allows for 25GB single-layer discs and 50GB dual-layer discs.
Innovative signal processing stretches the physical limits of the optical media to hold 33.3GB on each of the disc's six layers, yielding a single-sided 200GB disc capable of holding about 18 hours of high definition video encoded at 24Mbps.
"The ultra-ambitious technology roadmap for Blu-ray has now been confirmed as realistic," said Taro Ikushima, product manager of commercial products in Europe at TDK.
The optical qualities are stable enough to achieve 6x (216Mbps) recording speed on a 25GB write-once Blu-ray disc prototype, TDK claims.
Blu-ray media's data tracks are narrower than DVD media, meaning that precise and stable interaction between the laser and the recording material is especially critical to ensuring error-free recording and playback.
Consequently TDK has developed its own hard coating technology, Durabis (now in its second iteration as Durabis2), to protect the disc surface against common contaminants such as scratches and fingerprints.
This hard coating technology means that the discs do not need a protective cassette.
Durabis2 increases the scratch resistance by a factor of 100 in comparison with a non-treated disc surface, according to TDK, and rapidly discharges static electricity so that the discs also resist the accumulation of dust.
TDK ships 50GB Blu-ray disc
By Andrew Charlesworth on Sep 4, 2006 9:53AM