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Blu-ray Disc maker to 'abolish cartridges'

TDK debuts scratch-resistant coating

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CES 2005 TDK pledged to render recordable Blu-ray Discs more resilient yesterday when it announced a new coating material that it claims eliminates the need for protective cartridges.

The material, dubbed Durabis, makes BD-R and BD-RE (rewriteable) discs significantly more resistant to scratches, TDK claimed. Durabis also contains anti-static and anti-grease substances which reduce the data-corrupting effects of dust and fingerprints, again improving BD-RE's suitability for use without a cartridge.

The need for such protection is seen as one of the barriers to the acceptance of BD-RE as a storage format. Where once even regular CDs needed to be inserted into CD drives in a cartridge, now consumers have become accustomed to using all optical discs without them.

Cartridges are not part of the BD spec, but such is the much greater risk of data corruption from dirt and scratches with any blue-laser format - compared to red-laser CD and DVD rewriteable discs, with their much larger data-spot size, hence the lower capacity - that most if not all putative BD-RE drives force the use of protective cartridges on the user.

TDK plans to ship BD-RE discs in the US later this year. ®

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