A group of four manufacturers has announced successful development of a prototype of a HD DVD-R disc, the write-once next generation DVD disc, that can be easily produced at high volume on standard DVD-Recordable production lines. Hitachi Maxell and Mitsubishi Kagaku Media/Verbatim, two of Japan's leading manufacturers of optical disc media, have separately tested and verified the manufacturability of the write-once discs, which use a new organic dye specifically developed for blue-laser applications, and confirmed the prospect of volume production. The new dye is the result of a joint development project by Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, a key manufacturer of dyes for DVD-Recordable discs, Mitsubishi Kagaku Media/Verbatim and Toshiba Corporation.
Hitachi Maxell and Mitsubishi Kagaku Media/Verbatim will commercialize HD DVD-R discs in spring next year, at the same time as the launch of HD DVD recorders and PCs with built-in HD DVD drives by hardware manufacturers, including Toshiba.
Development of the new dye by Hayashibara, Mitsubishi Kagaku Media/Verbatim and Toshiba is a breakthrough for HD DVD-R. Standard DVD-Recordable discs use a photosensitive organic dye as the data storage medium in their recording layer. In the transition to HD DVD, manufacturers had to meet the challenge of developing a dye for HD DVD-R discs that could be used with the narrow wavelength of a blue laser and offered sufficient readout stability. The newly developed organic dye is highly sensitive to blue laser light, has the uncompromised readout stability essential for practical use, and the solubility in organic solvent required for easy production of the dye recording layer by a spin-coating process. As the HD DVD-R disc is based on the same disc structure as DVD discs, back-to-back bonding of two 0.6 millimeter-thick substrates, already installed DVD-Recordable manufacturing lines can utilize the new dye in efficient production of HD DVD-R.
Hitachi Maxell and Mitsubishi Kagaku Media/Verbatim have both used the new dye in trial production of prototype HD DVD-R discs (single-layer, 15 gigabytes*) on their current DVD-Recordable production lines, and confirmed that the process can be applied to mass production.