Prodisc develops 4.9GB DVD-R disc

Prodisc Technology will show a DVD-R disc at Taiwan's Computex show next week that can hold 4.9G bytes of data.

Prodisc Technology has developed a DVD-R disc that can hold 200M bytes more data than current discs and plans to unveil it at next week's Computex show in Taiwan.

The disc has a capacity of 4.9G bytes, versus 4.7G bytes for a conventional DVD-R. The extra capacity was realized by reducing the gap between the successive turns of the disc's spiral recording track. By reducing the gap, also called the track pitch, a longer track can be fitted onto the disc and so more data can be stored.

Because the track pitch has been changed, the new disc won't be compatible with all current DVD drives. Fifteen drives from major drive makers offer full support for the disc, which means allowing storage of up to 4.9G bytes, said Bryan Huang of Prodisc's storage media research and development department.

The company has an additional list of about 100 drives which offer partial support, such as allowing storage up to 4.7G bytes only or slower recording speeds. An additional 26 consumer DVD-R video recorders also offer partial support.

Prodisc, based in Taipei, hasn't determined if the disc meets the DVD-R specification, which allows for a certain margin of error in track pitch, said Huang. The DVD Format Licensing and Logo Corp., responsible for issuing licenses that allow the use of the DVD logo, said it has yet to receive compliance testing information for the disc and so can't make a judgment.

The 15 drives with full support are:

  • Behaviour Tech Computer's (BTC) DRW1108IM
  • BenQ's DW1620
  • LG Electronics' GSA-4082B and GSA4120B
  • Lite-On Technology's SOHW-1613S
  • NEC's ND-3500A
  • Optorite's DD0401
  • Pioneer's DVR-107D and DVR108
  • Plextor's PX-708A and PX-712A
  • Ricoh's MP-5308D
  • Samsung's SH-W08A
  • Teac's DV-W58D
  • Toshiba's SD-R5272

Prodisc will show the disc under its SmartBuyDisc brand at Computex, which runs in Taipei from May 31 to June 4.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
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