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New optical storage format breaks cover

25 September 2006

Mitsubishi Kagaku Media (MKM)/Verbatim, Memory Tech Corporation (MTC), and Plasmon have announced a technology and business alliance to manufacture and promote a new optical storage format called UDO-DMD (Ultra Density Optical – Digital Master Disk).

UDO-DMD has been designed specifically for the secure distribution and long-term storage of high value HD DVD content between authoring studios and disc mastering facilities.

Based on professional blue laser UDO technology, DMD drives and media have been optimised to meet the stringent security and reliability requirements of the HD DVD content industry. The alliance’s rationale goes like this: many studios today depend on magnetic tape and RAID systems to transport and archive valuable content. Video content is often lost on tapes because they are fragile for transport and unreliable for long-term storage, and managing rapidly growing data on RAID is insecure and cost prohibitive for archives that must be maintained for many years. By contrast, UDO-DMD provides an extremely stable media housed in a robust cartridge that has a data life far greater than tape or RAID storage. To minimize the risk of content piracy, the new DMD media cannot be written and read in standard UDO drives. DMD also provides physical WORM (Write Once Read Many) recording for content authenticity and an additional cartridge locking security feature to minimize the risk of valuable content loss.

Each of the three companies making the announcement today brings a wealth of technology and industry experience to the alliance. Plasmon will manufacture DMD drives and media; MKM will manufacture DMD media and provide global media distribution under their Verbatim brand, and MTC will be championing the technology worldwide through its extensive expertise in the video content and mastering industry. DMD will initially be released with a 30GB content capacity (DMD30), growing to 60GB in Q207 (DMD60) and will have additional data capacity for AACS copy protection and encryption information.

“While UDO-DMD is a new product, it is based on our already well established UDO technology,” explained Nigel Street, Plasmon’s CEO. “With thousands of organizations worldwide relying on UDO to archive their valuable business records, it has a very successful track record in professional archive environments that demand content authenticity and longevity. The optimized features that we have added to UDO-DMD will provide the HD DVD content industry with an already proven technology that has the capabilities they need to address their unique business requirements.”

“HD DVD content is physically transported between the studios and the pre-mastering facility,” commented Dr. Hidemi Yoshida, CTO of MKM. “As a result, it is vital that the media be extremely robust and stable. DMD is a professional quality media that MKM manufactures to exacting standards and encloses in a shock resistant, antistatic cartridge. As a non-magnetic, Phase Change recording technology, it is immune to damage from magnetic field and x-ray exposure and can be safely stored in a very wide range of temperature and humidity conditions. This stability also means that DMD provides a data life of over 50 years which is ideal for this application where content can be recalled for re-mastering over many years.”

“Authoring studios and mastering facilities struggle to manage the massive amount of content that they distribute and archive,” explained Shiroharu Kawasaki, President and CEO, of Memory Tech. “The efficiency of their business and the security of their content depends on having a reliable removable media with sufficient capacity for HD DVD content. DMD addresses all these needs and has a roadmap to evolve with the industry. With availability early next year, DMD60 will enable the full HD DVD content to be written on side one with the AACS encrypted version stored on side two. Consolidating all the content on a single volume will greatly simplify the long-term storage of this valuable content.”

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