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Two CDs in one from Sony

Sony to launch double-density CD

Sony plans to launch a new type of CD in April that can hold twice as much data as current discs.

The Double Density CD format allows up to 1.3GB of data to be stored on a disc, but the new system is not compatible with the existing CD format.

Sony will begin selling drives and discs to support write-once and rewritable versions of the Double Density (DD) format in Europe from April.

The first DD-R/RW drive from Sony supports 12-speed maximum write for DD-R/CD-R, eight-speed write for DD-RW/CD-RW and 32-speed maximum read speed for all types of CDs.

To double the capacity, Sony made some modifications to the current CD format, which it helped to invent.

The changes included a smaller track pitch and minimum track length, a change in the error correction system and an expanded address format. The new format also includes a copyright control system to prevent illegal copying of data on the discs.

The new disc is likely to face heavy competition from a variety of formats already battling for dominance in a fierce marketplace.

Comparable CD-RW drives are cheaper and CD-RW media currently sells for far less than the predicted cost of the new format discs. Sony though is hoping the extra capacity will be enough to win over customers.


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