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TDK Climbs On Blu-ray Bandwagon

The Blu-ray Disc Founders (BDF) Group continued to grow support for its next-generation high-capacity disc format called Blu-ray Disc by announcing at the recent CeBIT Show here that TDK had become the first optical disc manufacturer to join the group.

TDK will contribute to the format a new hard-coat technology that will allow the high-capacity Blu-ray Disc media to be offered without a caddy — a condition seen as important in competing with rival high-density disc formats.

Masatoshi Shikanai, TDK corporate officer, said, “Our new hard-coat technology is perfect for producing robust, bare Blu-ray discs in a cost-efficient way. It will provide the optical media industry with a disc that can be efficiently produced at a large scale, and it offers the consumer a robust recordable or rewritable disc with the same handling capability as DVD.”

TDK’s pledge to the format follows similar announcements last January by HP and Dell, giving the format critical support from the IT industry.

The Blu-ray Disc format will produce up to 50GB of capacity on a single-sided dual-layer disc, according to a BDF statement on specifications. The capacity will enable production of high-definition DVD videos and multi-format hybrid media, among other uses.

The Blu-ray Disc is being developed on the basis of the successful CD and DVD formats, using 5-inch optical discs. With the addition of a red laser, Blu-ray Disc players and recorders can easily be made backward compatible with DVD, the group said.

The Blu-ray format is competing with several other next-generation optical disc formats for industry standardization. Among the challengers is the HD-DVD format championed by Toshiba and NEC. That format recently received DVD Forum approval and is said to provide a more cost-effective means for converting from DVD to next-generation disc production.

Blu-ray members said their format will become equally cost-competitive over time.