Panasonic and Hitachi have unveiled 16x DVD-RAM drivers for personal computers and Maxell has demonstrated 16x media.
Today's DVD-RAM drives and media are rated at up to 5x performance. The 16x rating is a maximum, with the new drives writing across a range of speeds from 6x up to the higher figure, with 16x discs spinning at a constant rotational speed rather than the constant linear velocity approach used in previous versions of the format.
The upshot is that while 16x drives will read and write 5x discs, drives rated for 5x can't read or write to 16x media, the RDVDC admitted. Indeed, the 16x DVD-RAM specification has not yet been formally accepted by the DVD Forum, the body that oversees the DVD standard. However, the RDVDC said it expects approval to be grated "within the near future".