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JVC unveils first one-side, two-layer DVD-RW disc

Double the capacity (almost)

JVC today said it has created the world's first single-sided, dual-layer DVD-RW disc, boosting the format's storage capacity from 4.7GB to 8.5GB.

Members of the rival rewriteable DVD camp, DVD+RW, have been touting a dual-layer recordable DVD+R product for some time, with the 8x recording speed nearing completion and a 16x version feasible but as yet still laboratory-bound.

However, at a recent roadmap update presented at the CeBIT show, no timetable was given for the appearance of dual-layer DVD+RW discs and drives.

Not that the JVC disc is going to come to market any time soon. The manufacturer declined to state when it expects to see its new technology commercialised. Not only does it need to perfect the product, but the format will need to first win the approval of the DVD Forum, the official overseer of the DVD format. Only then can disc manufacturers and drive producers commercialise products based on the JVC technology.

However, JVC did say it has developed a bonding film that allows the two layers to be joined together in conventional disc manufacturing equipment. That will improve the cost of production, potentially speeding the format's uptake.

In the meantime, the company will submit a technology proposal to the Forum, the first step in the publication of a DVD-RW DL standard.

JVC's DL disc uses a "highly sensitive" recording medium and a new recording method the company is provisionally calling 'N-Strategy', both based on JVC's proprietary phase-change design technology developed for high speed DVD-RW discs, the latter to "enhance erasability".

The new recording medium provides allows enough 650nm laser light to pass through to read and write to the second, upper layer, but unlike traditional DVD-RW media, it has the right absorption characteristics to properly form and erase data dots when the first layer is written to or erased. The disc's second layer uses a standard DVD-RW recording medium. ®

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