Toshiba to Launch High-Capacity DVD-RAM Drive

WASHINGTON (06/26/2000) - Toshiba Corp. Monday announced a high-capacity DVD-RAM (digital versatile disc-random access memory) drive for storing and recording volumes of data on a single disc, including hours of movies, tens of thousands of photos and dozens of graphics-intense applications.

The SD-W2002 drive is Toshiba's second generation device in the DVD-RAM format.

First generation DVD-RAM discs are capable of holding 2.6G bytes of data per side to give a maximum capacity of 5.2G bytes on a double-sided disc. The second generation format extends this to 4.7G bytes of storage per side and a maximum capacity of 9.4G bytes per disc.

DVD-RAM is the first recordable and rewritable DVD format to hit the consumer market, but it is still battling for market acceptance against the popular writable CDs.

Toshiba's SD-W2002, which will ship in volume in July, will be able to hold more than 400,000 documents or 4,700 full-color digital photos on a single disc, Toshiba said in a news release. The DVD-RAM disc offers a data life of more than 30 years and can be written over more than 100,000 times.

The news release did not give a price for the drive, but said the per megabyte storage price would be equal to US$0.005.

Toshiba's announcement follows an announcement last month by Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. of its plans to begin selling its second generation DVD-RAM products in July. [See "Matsushita Plans 4.7GB DVD-RAM Launch," May 15.]Toshiba, based in Irvine, California, can be reached at +1-949-583-3000 or at http://www.toshiba.com/.

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