Panasonic has modified its existing pilot production line for single-layer Blu-ray Discs, called BD-ROM, so that it is able to replicate dual-layer BD-ROM discs with 50
gigabytes (GB) of storage capacity. The new pilot replication line is housed
within the Panasonic Disc Manufacturing Corporation of America, which is
located here in Torrance, Calif. Single-layer Blu-ray Discs have 25 GB of
storage capacity for holding video and other data, while current DVD discs
have 8.5 GB of storage at most.
The doubling of BD-ROM disc storage capacity is enabled by spin coating
technologies developed by Panasonic that create two recorded layers on a
single side of a Blu-ray Disc. In the process, readily available inexpensive
UV curable resins are used in the creation of the space layer, cover layer and
hard-coat, resulting in a reduction in disc replication costs. Video and other
data is then embedded in the layers for playback later using a blue
laser-equipped Blu-ray Disc player, recorder or BD-ROM drive-equipped PC.
The Torrance pilot production line is able to produce dual-layer BD-ROM
discs with the attachment of a dual-layer replication line module to the
existing single-layer line. Single-layer BD-ROM discs are currently being
produced on the pilot line with more than 80% yield rates. Panasonic expects
to provide sample dual-layer BD-ROM discs to the industry for testing by the
end of this month.
"Working closely with the movie studios and our replication partners,
Panasonic was able to foresee the need for greater disc capacity to give
consumers a much richer user experience," said Eisuke Tsuyuzaki, director of
Strategy & Alliances, Panasonic Hollywood Lab.
Panasonic expects to highlight the new replication process for dual-layer
BD-ROM discs at the Blu-ray Disc Association's booth (#9444, Main Hall, Las
Vegas Convention Center) during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas,
January 5-8, 2006.
The additional capacity will allow movies and other High Definition video
titles to be stored, along with value-added features, on a single Blu-ray
Disc. The BD-ROM format is expected to succeed DVDs as the preferred medium
for High Definition movies and other packaged entertainment content for the
home as the nation moves from analog TV to digital and High Definition