Rewritable drives are expected to become the major source of revenue for optical system manufacturers within the next five years. Intensive work has been done by the consortium during its first period of activity to establish a European technology for optical media, heads and drives. The baselines of this programme consist in the development of two magneto-optical drives: a 3.5 inch drive with a capability higher than 200 Mbyte, and a 5.25 inch drive of 5 Gbyte.
Rewritable drives are expected to become the major source of revenue for optical system manufacturers within the next 5 years. Intensive work has been done to establish a European technology for optical media, heads and drives. The baselines of this programme consist in the development of 2 magnetooptical drives: a 3.5 inch drive with a capability higher than 200 Mbyte, and a 5.25 inch drive of 5 Gbyte.
The 3.5 inch mangnetooptical drive, 1 inch high and International Standardization Organization (ISO) compatible, has been developed. RE-TM based 90 mm magnetoptical media have also been developed that conform to the ISO-10090 standard. Glass based and plastic based media are now commercially available. O-read only memory (O-ROM) capabilities, allowing the preembossing of nonalterable commercial software on the rewritable disks, have been developed and transferred to production. In order to assess extendability towards next generation high performance systems (including magnetic field modulated direct overwrite), the upgradability of RE-TM media has been investigated. The underlying RE-TM technology allows extension to next generation data storage systems. A magnetooptical garnet medium, optimized for low wavelength, has been developed, and 3.5 inch magnetooptical discs with grooved glass substrate, bismuth substituted garnet and reflector have been produced and tested. Wafers containing magnetooptical integrated heads have also been produced, demonstrating the feasibility of the technology.
The design of a multiplatter magnetooptical drive has been based on the use of the integrated heads flying on oxide media.
Medium-term goals (1989-92)
- Development of a 3.5 inch magneto-optical medium for the current and next generation of data storage systems with improved functional specifications, including partial ROM.
- Realisation of a new 3.5 inch magneto-optical disc drive complying with the extended ISO standard, with capacity > 200 Mbyte, access time < 50 ms, SCSI/AT interfaces, average data transfer rate > 0.5 Mbyte/s, and a partial ROM zone.
- Completion of an integrated optical head.
- Media development for direct overwrite (RE-TM and oxide media).
- Mock-up of a 5.25 inch multiplatter erasable optical drive with a storage capacity of 5 Gbyte, access time < 40 ms, SCSI interface, and an average data transfer rate higher than 2 MB/s.
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