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Development of European Magneto-Optical Drives

Objective

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.

Coordinator

Société d'Applications Générales d'Électricité et de Mécanique
Address
6 Avenue D'iena
75783 Paris
France

Participants (10)

Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA)
France
Address
Centre D'études De Grenoble 17 Avenue Des Martyrs
38041 Grenoble
Coventry University
United Kingdom
Address
Priory Street
CV1 5FB Coventry
HOECHST AG
Germany
Address
Rheingaustraße 190-196
65203 Wiesbaden
Ingegneria C Olivetti and Co SpA
Italy
Address
Via G Jervis
10015 Ivrea
Lexicon
Italy
Address
Via Torino 603
10090 San Bernardo Ivrea
NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION
Ireland
Address
Plassey Technological Park
Limerick
NEDERLANDSE PHILIPS BEDRIJVEN BV
Netherlands
Address
Prof. Holstlaan, 4
5656 AA Eindhoven
Olivetti Systems & Networks Srl
Italy
Address
Via Meravigli 12
20123 Milano
PHILIPS DUPONT OPTICAL
Netherlands
Address
Buizerdlaan, 2
3435 SB Nieuwegein
UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK
Ireland
Address
Plassey Technological Park
61 Limerick