APRIL 27--Claiming a breakthrough in DVD storage flexibility and media interchangeability, Panasonic Industrial Co. (Milpitas, CA; www.panasonic.com/oemdvd-ram) has introduced the industry's first combination DVD-RAM-R drive. The drive can read and write to both DVD-RAM (rewritable) and DVD-R (write once) disks. In addition, it provides all the functionality of the DVD Forum specifications for DVD-RAM and DVD-R, including compatibility with DVD video players, recorders, and DVD-ROM drives. With these capabilities, the drive represents a single, interchangeable platform for video, computer, and storage/archiving applications.
By switching between 650- and 780-nm-wavelength lasers and one objective lens, the combination drive can write to and read from general-purpose 4.7-Gbyte DVD-R disks and 4.7-Gbyte/9.4-Gbyte DVD RAM disks. It delivers at least seven times the capacity of a compact disk (CD) plus video and audio functions not provided by CDs.
Using 4.7-Gbyte DVD-R media, the combination drive can run at transfer rates to 11.08 Mbits/s, which is about nine times faster than the transfer rate of CD-ROM 1X drives. The 22.16-Mbit/s transfer rate of 4.7-Gbyte DVD-RAM media translates into an 18X CD data rate. Seek rates are 75 ms for DVD-RAM disks and 65 ms for DVD-R, DVD-ROM, and CD media.
Tamotsu Matsuo, deputy director of the technology center of the AVC Network Business Group at AVC Company Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., the owner of Panasonic, says, "For the first time, OEMs can have an all-in-one DVD storage solution that provides the security of write-once and the flexibility of rewritable. A single drive can be used for high-capacity, removable storage; personal computing and home movies; corporate and professional video authoring/editing; and low-cost distribution, backup, and video playback."