Panasonic to Release Blu-ray Disc Drives Next Spring
Oct 11, 2005
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Panasonic, the leading brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is best known, announced that the company will introduce Blu-ray Disc (BD) drives for notebook and desktop computers that can write and read single- and dual-layer BDs as well as all types of recordable DVDs and CDs. The drives will become available for personal computer manufacturers by spring 2006 along with the new non-cartridge bare discs (BD) with storage capacities of 25 GB and 50 GB.

The BD drive for notebook PCs is 12.7-mm high and can record and playback the three generations of optical discs. It supports single-layer 25 GB and single-sided, dual-layer 50 GB BDs. Panasonic plans to ship samples by the end of this year and commence commercial production by March 2006.

The multimedia drive uses Panasonic's own laminated glass plate prism technology that enables the reduction in size of the optical pickup to 1/12 of the size of conventional pickups.

Prior to the introduction of the notebook-use disc drive, Panasonic will ship samples of the half-height (41.3-mm) desktop version in October and start volume production by January 2006. The desktop-use disc drive also serves as a BD, Super-Multi DVD and CD drive. The device can write BDs at twice the speed.

For use in these thin-profile drives, Panasonic has developed a BD that does not use a cartridge. The surface-treatment technology enables a significant boost in disc resistance to scratch, abrasion and dust. Starting in spring 2006, Panasonic plans to mass-produce four types of bare disc BDs: single-layer 25 GB and single-sided, dual-layer 50 GB BD-REs (rewritable) and BD-Rs (recordable), all at twice the speed, according to the company.

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