Battle brewing over successor to DVD format

With the release of what it claims is the first blue-laser optical disk reader for data, Sony Corp. has kicked off a standards war over the eventual replacement of DVDs that promises to be comparable to the Betamax-versus-VHS clash.

Sony says each disk, which uses its Professional Disc for DATA format, can hold 23.3G of storage. DVDs hold 4.7G and CDs about 650M.

DVD systems use infrared lasers to read and write materials to disk. Infrared lightwaves are about 650 nanometers wide. Blue-light lasers have a 405-nanometer wavelength.

Drives using blue light can write and distinguish between rows of data more closely spaced than on current disks. With more rows per disk, each platter can hold more information.

At least two other company teams are touting blue-laser-generated disks.

The most popular format, at least among manufacturers, is Blu-ray, from a coalition of nine consumer electronics companies.

Toshiba Corp. and NEC Corp. have introduced a third blue-laser format, the Advanced Optical Disk.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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