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Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Plasmon’s UDO and Blu -Ray: top shelf technologies in optical data storage

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019
Phase Change technology of writing data optimises the write time and allows for more efficient data storage

Phase Change technology of writing data optimises the write time and allows for more efficient data storage

It’s commonly known that technology used for storage purposes must be characterized by its huge data capacity in order to make the whole enterprise economically viable. Using this one criterion only, there are only two suitable technologies left: UDO (Ulttra Density Optical) and Blu-Ray disc.

Since they offer similar benefits in general, the question which technology has bigger chances to stay on the market will be determined by the investment costs of its implementation and by the size of the existing installed base. The answer may be obvious already…

The UDO technology was developed by Plasmon as a replacement for MO (Magneto Optical) technology in the beginning of this century with long term archiving in mind. UDO -1 holds 30 GB per disc and the newly developed UDO – 2 can hold up to 60 GB per disc, 30 GB per each side. It’s double sided which requires a rotation mechanism to turn the media over. It uses Phase Change technology to write data. The data can be read/written at 8 MG/sec. using Reed Solomon error correction.  The laser is applied at two heat levels what provides faster write times, higher storage densities and higher life cycle (the number of writes that a spot can whitstand at its full capacity). Its estimated archive life exceeds 50 years. The medium is housed in a rugged dust proof caddy.

Unfortunately, high costs of UDO’s implementation and proprietary issues, plus a few extra drawbacks, like the fact that a special software is required to read UDO media or the lack of a native format, made Plasmon went into administration at the end of 2008. The technology was sold and it’s now manufactured by Alliance Storage Technologies. Similar fate was shared by InPhase Technology, which also attempted to develop holographic storage and failed due to same reasons.

With UDO’s experience in mind, it’s now clear why it is Blu – Ray that prevails as a widely used archiving medium. It is supported by hundreds of companies globally and shares many of the features with UDO, like high reliability and low maintenance costs. Its main benefit over UDO is huge installed base and the universal format of the written data. Of course, Blu- Ray ‘naturally’ evolved from CD and DVD which makes it backward compatible. It is also not as ruggedised as UDO and is housed in slim jukeboxes (some marketing specialists dare to label them even as ‘sexy’).

And what is the moral of that story? Maybe something like: no matter how advanced and sophisticated the technologie is, it’s always up to the market to determine its overall life span by verifying all its aspects  with scrutiny.

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Replication – the basics

Monday, September 17th, 2018
Replication is best if you want minimum 500 units of a disc

Replication is best if you want minimum 500 units of a disc

Effective data storage is now impossible to deal with without CDs and DVDs. These mediums had revolutionised the way information is processed and accessed. The highest demand for quality replication services comes from well – developed countries and is strictly linked with their fast – growing economy. One of the biggest source of upsurge in the demand for replication services is also entertainment industry, fuelled by avid gamers, film and music fans, so obviously a huge target.

Replication consists in copying the information written on your original master onto a “glass master.” The glass master is later used to make a stamper mold which serves as a copying medium. It allows to stamp the data from the original onto injection-molded DVD-ROM or CD-ROM discs as they dry. The copies are then lacquered, metallised, tested and packaged. The final packaging is suited to buyer’s requirements. Packaging guarantees sustainability of a discs by protecting it from external factors like heat, dust and direct sunlight.

CD and DVD replication is a process of mass reproduction, which means you should consider it if you plan to make between 500 to 2000 copies of a data disc, music disc and video disc. This amount proves to be the most cost effective. The whole process is fully automated and takes between 7 to 10 days maximum. It is longer than standard duplication, which takes 2 – 3 business days, but the unit cost of replicated disc is lower. Replication is best to deal with CD – and DVD -ROMs and Blu-Ray discs. Replicated DVDs can contain 1 layer (DVD-5) of information, 2 layers on one side (DVD-9), 1 layer on each side (DVD-10) or 2 layers on each side (DVD-18). When comes to compatibility, a replicated disc will work on all DVD players and computer drives.

Previously companies specialized in CD DVD replication were mostly interested in bulk orders. Before choosing which method (duplication or replication) is best for you should define your needs and balance costs.

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It is all about verifying…

Monday, September 3rd, 2018
Testing is run just after the replication process is finished

Testing is run just after the replication process is finished

The need for test and verification services is growing rapidly, because the content market is changing. It includes now not only physical product testing in the games and movie industries, website and software testing, but also 3D content and digital downloads designed for mobile devices. And a novelty like the arrival of 3D content affects all other aspects of the market and distribution channels. And changing content introduces unique errors that have to be corrected. So it is always the content that influences testing methods, not the other way around. The only thing that does not change is the need for convergence and compatibility to ensure client’s satisfaction.

Testing is needed to ensure that the end-user experience is of the highest quality. Skimping on testing isn’t in anyone’s intrest. Both format and quality are subject to reliable methods of testing. As some stages of production became more stable, it is sometimes tempting to cut the procedures for quality assurance, but that would first require a full risk assessment and careful cost-benefit analysis.

Blu- rays and BD –Live , with their ability to be overwritten, updated and edited with various applications leave entire room for compulsory testing. It seems that 3D testing will develop less rapidly as entertainment consumers need some time to digest each novelty step by step. This means HD displays and Blu –ray players will be the first stage. It will require some physiological nuances as well as extra knowledge about whether the content was shot in 3D from the beginning or converted from 2D to 3D.

It needs to be remembered that all portal –dependent content requires different testing in terms of compatibility. It matters especially when content is to be played on mobiles and other portable devices.

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Address: Replication Centre, Gleniffer House, 2 Hall Road, Rochford, Essex, SS4 1NN.    Tel: 01702 530 357    Email: info@replicationcentre.co.uk