UDO: Is there a blue light in your future?

Magneto-optical disks could take a big leap forward next fall, when Plasmon is scheduled to release products with its Ultra Density Optical (UDO) technology.

Plasmon promises storage capacities of 30G per UDO disk in its initial release, followed by 60G and up to 120G in future generations.

UDO is billed as a convergent technology that delivers the stability of 5.25-inch MO, the longevity of 12-inch WORM (write once, read many) and the cost-effectiveness of DVD.

It uses the phase-change media'in which a laser changes dots on a disk from an amorphous to crystalline state'and a 405-mm-wavelength blue-violet laser instead of red. This combination will dramatically increase data storage densities but will require a new type of disk utilizing a 0.1-mm cover layer to protect the data surface.

Jukeboxes, yes

The drives will be standard half-height format and use a media cartridge identical to 5.25-inch MO. They will be compatible with jukebox and library systems but not with current MO technology. Phase-change technology will serve both true WORM (UDO-R) and rewritable (UDO-RW) media.

Company officials said UDO disks will have a 50-year data life and that the drives will come with a dual shutter cartridge to minimize contamination and provide data protection.

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