TOKYO TDK Corp. has joined the Blu-ray Disk Founders group, creating the possibility that BD disks could eliminate cartridges and make it easy to use both DVD and BD disks in the same system.
"Our new hard-coat technology is perfect for producing robust, bare Blu-ray disks in a cost-efficient way. It will provide the optical media industry with a disk that can be efficiently produced at a large scale, and it offers the consumer a robust recordable or rewritable disk with the same handling capability as DVD," said TDK's Masatoshi Shikanai. TDK's participation was announced at CeBIT 2004 show in Hanover, Germany.
TDK developed a disk-coating technology called Super Hard Coat. It also introduced disks using the coating in December 2002 as DVD writable disks.
By adding a coating layer to a conventional polycarbonate disk surface, TDK said abrasion resistance is about 100 times higher compared to existing DVD disks. The coating has about one-third the friction coefficient compared to a conventional polycarbonate disk surface. This makes it easier to rub off stains, according to TDK.
Since the BD disk is 0.1 mm deep between the recording layer and the surface, the disk is not resistant to errors caused by surface stains as are DVDs that have a 0.6-mm depth to the recording layer. Hence, BD disks are enclosed in a cartridge. Hence, it has been difficult to make them compatible with current DVD disks, rival HD DVD supporters note.
"We'd like to develop our super hard coat technology further to realize cartridge-less BD disks. We've been making various proposals from outside of the founders' group, but now we can work inside of the group," said a TDK spokesman.
Member companies of the Blu-ray Disc Founders include: Dell Inc., Hewlett Packard Co., Hitachi Ltd., LG Electronics Inc., Matsushita Electric (Panasonic), Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Pioneer Corp., Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Sharp Corp., Sony Corp., TDK and Thomson.