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TDK, a leading supplier of optical media, demonstrated at Consumer Electronics Show its high-capacity Blu-ray discs (BDs) and promised to ship smaller BDs later during the year. The company, however, provided neither timeframes, nor approximate pricing of the products announced.

“TDK’s 200GB blue laser disc technology represents an important milestone for optical media. As a founding member of the Blu-ray Disc Association, we are proud of our work to shape the future of digital recording. At CES 2007, attendees can preview the 200GB blue laser disc, and learn more about the technologies behind the format that is redefining the consumer electronics industry,” said Sethu Palat, TDK director of marketing.

Live demonstration of the 200GB Blu-ray discs is the first of its kind, but unfortunately, about a year has passed since TDK first unveiled its 200GB discs and the company still has not started to ship 100GB discs, which were announced almost two years ago, commercially.

Moreover, it is not completely clear who needs 100GB or 200GB optical discs, as studios are unlikely to be in position to sell 100GB or 200GB of content this year, whereas those, who require to store and/or backup mission critical data would prefer something more reliable than an emerging optical format.

200GB BDs sport 6 layers with 33GB per each. In order to fit 200GB over six layers, each layer’s capacity has been increased to 33GB (from 25GB) by using bismuth peroxide as the recording medium, it was reported earlier.  When the laser heats this type of medium, it oxidises to form bubbles of air, which affects the laser light in much the same way as pits on traditional CD and DVD media, which is why it is unclear whether the 200GB discs would be compatible with the first Blu-ray optical drives.

TDK also announced that in 2007 it would debut 8cm mini Blu-ray BD-R and BD-RE disc media, which is to utilize a single-layer recording material structure and feature 7.5GB storage capacity. The discs will be used with the “upcoming generation of Blu-ray disc camcorders”, which will hit the market sometime in future.

“With TDK’s technological advancements, Blu-ray is proving to be the ultimate, future-ready format. As the technology continues to evolve, Blu-ray Discs are becoming increasingly important products in TDK’s line,” Mr. Palat of TDK concluded.

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