|DISC > White Papers|
|roadmap for future optical storage technologies|
DVD and MO technology are well established in the storage market for storing large amounts of static content and reference data. The physical, and technological, characteristics of optical media are ideal in applications which must reliably store and retrieve data over extended periods of time. The recent passage of laws such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 are in response to recent records management issues in certain business sectors, and have increased awareness within the IT industry. Among the penalties outlined in recent laws are monetary fines, and even jail time, for those who fail to meet the requirements for records management and retention.
Current DVD and MO storage libraries are pushing up to 10 TBs, per system, of capacity for a wide range of applications. While both mediums are, at a glance, similar in functionality and utility, there are some distinct advantages inherent to each type. On the surface, the DVD format offers a more easily accepted 120mm form factor, identical to the now common compact disc (CD) format. In this instance size matters as DVD media is stored in bare form without need for cartridges, offering greater storage capacity in a small footprint.
Magneto optical technology’s greatest strength is in its faster access times, up to 5 times or better, than the DVD format. The trade-off is that MO has a slightly larger form-factor than DVD, because it is a cartridge-based media, keeping the media cleaner, requires a greater amount of space in a storage library. Imagine an oversize floppy disk-like plastic enclosure over the bare media. Also, the cost for professional MO libraries is 2-3 times higher than for similar-capacity DVD libraries.
The introduction of DVD multi-function drives, which are capable of reading and writing multiple DVD formats, have virtually, ended all criticism regarding multiple formats.
Up until now, optical storage has not effectively grown, capacity-wise, alongside user requirements. Next-generation optical storage will be based upon the upcoming blue-book / laser format which has a shorter wave length of 405nm. The goal behind this endeavor is to be able to expand storage capacity by 3x within the same 120mm form factor while increasing read and write performance characteristics.
While the shorter wavelength is one parameter which increases storage capacity, additional measures are being developed which will extend the media storage capacity significantly further. The major principles being used are:
• Different geometry of the optical lens (numerical
Below is a comparison between DVD and the new blue laser technologies:
Utilizing a shorter laser wavelength, different optical lens geometry, double-sided media and dual recording layers per media side, blue laser vendors will double storage capacity and performance every two years, at least, for the announced first three generations of product offerings.
The application of the blue laser technology for the professional storage market is expected for the following products:
For the consumer market a blue laser technology announcement was released in Q3/2002 by the ‘BluRay consortium’ which includes Hitachi Ltd, LG Electronics, Matsushita, Pioneer Corp., Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and Thomson. A first product announcement for the consumer market product was released by Sony for product availability in April 2003.
Ultra Density Optical
Optical drive manufacturer Plasmon is developing the drives and media for this 130mm product. The drives will have a half height 5 ¼“ form-factor and the media will be cartridge-based. Compared to MO technology, the UDO cartridge will be a ‘dual-shutter’ design designed to meet stricter cleanliness requirements.
UDO media will be phase-change type and will be offered in both WORM and re-writeable formats. UDO will not be compatible with other optical storage technologies. The first generation UDO product in Q3/2003 will have a capacity of 30GB per cartridge (15GB per side).
Sony Professional Blue Laser
Sony Electronics, well established in the professional storage market, is developing the drives and media for this 120mm product. The technology/product announcement was released in April for Q3/2003 product availability.
Drives will have a half height 5 ¼ “ form-factor while media will be cartridge-based. The cartridge will be similar in design to the consumer-grade BluRay cartridge product. First generation product will begin as single-sided media, with dual recording layers which will allow access up to 23 GB capacities per side.
Media will be phase change technology in both WORM and rewritable formats and will not be compatible with other optical technologies. The first generation Sony Blue Laser product will be available in Q3/2003, with capacities of 23GB per platter.
Price for the professional 120mm blue laser product is expected to be below UDO cost, detailed cost for both products will be available in Q3/2003.
120mm Bare Media Product
The DVD forum has started 2 workgroups for blue laser developments:
• 0.6mm Technology (i.e. NA 0.7)
For the 0.6mm technology (2 media sides of 0.6mm result in a total media thickness of 1.2mm) the companies Toshiba/NEC have made a technology announcement, media capacity is 30GB.
The 0.6mm technology, because of its 0.7NA will be compatible to the DVD technology. The schedule for the industrial use of this technology is not available at this time.The application of the blue laser bare media technology in the professional storage/archive industry will allow the design of a very competitive library design. Libraries will have the best form factor among the blue laser-enabled libraries and are expected to havethe lowest cost/GB compared to UDO and Sony Blue Laser products.
No technology announcement has been made for the .1 mm technology (NA 0.85) at this point.
Current DVD and MO storage technologies offer unparalleled capacity and reliability for long-term storage and archive applications. With growing market acceptance and de-facto standardization in the DVD area, market share for optical storage is expected to increase in 2004 and 2005.
Applications requiring very high storage capacities
will be the first to adopt the newer blue laser products, taking advantage
of the improvements made in capacity and transfer rates. It is expected,
for the first time, that optical technology will be able to successfully
compete in arenas currently held by magnetic tape such as backup and disaster
• 130mm UDO: Planned availability in the
Orion Series in Q3/2003, mixed media support for MO/UDO