Four manufacturers have developed HD DVD-R disc technology that can be produced in quantity using standard DVD-R 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 was jointly-developed by Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, a key manufacturer of dyes for DVD-Recordable discs, Mitsubishi Kagaku Media/Verbatim and Toshiba.

Commercial production in 2006

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.

This is a major step for HD DVD-R and required the development of a new photosensitive organic dye, capable of working with blue lasers.

"By combining our cumulative know-how in high-density optical disc technology with the breakthrough of the new dye, we have tested and proven the manufacturability of HD DVD-R discs," said Norio Ota, executive officer and general manager of the Development and Technology Division at Hitachi Maxell. "We will prepare for mass production of HD DVD-R on our current lines."

Technological advance and mutual gain

Hidemi Yoshida, chief technology officer of Mitsubishi Kagaku Media said, "We expect to see the same substantial growth in demand for HD DVD-R. We will prepare for mass production to support the forthcoming launch of HD DVD products."

"I am delighted that the four companies, through their joint work, have proven the manufacturability of an HD DVD-R disc. HD DVD's basic feature of sharing the same disc structure as DVD made a large contribution to this success, and offers more and compelling evidence of our design policy's validity," said Hisashi Yamada, chief fellow of Toshiba's Digital Media Network Company.

"In 2004 the recordable and rewritable DVD disc market stood at around 1.4 billion discs, and about 90 percent of those discs were write-once discs. The next generation write-once HD DVD disc will be just as important, and I am sure that proving an efficient mass production technology for HD DVD-R discs will provide a big boost for a smooth transition from DVD to HD DVD."