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TECHNOLOGY NEWS

Sony develops paper DVD


April 20, 2004

TOKYO — Electronics giant Sony and another Japanese company have developed a "paper disc" that can record more than two hours of high-definition images and be destroyed with scissors for foolproof data security, officials said Monday.

The 25-gigabite Blu-ray optical disc is 51 percent paper and was developed jointly with Toppan Printing Co. Ltd. of Japan.

"Since a paper disc can be cut by scissors easily, it is simple to preserve data security when disposing of the disc," Toppan managing director Hideaki Kawai said in a joint statement with Sony.

Masanobu Yamamoto, senior managing director at optical disc development division of Sony, said the firms were able to use paper in the new disc as the Blu-ray technology does not require laser light to travel through the substrate.

The technical details of how it is possible to use paper as a data storage disc would be disclosed Tuesday at a conference in Monterey, California, according to the statement.

The combination of paper material and printing technology is also expected to lead to a reduction in cost per disc and will expand usage, the two partners said. It has yet to be undecided when the disc will be commercially available.

The use of paper in electronics products is not new for Sony.

In 1950 when Japan was still struggling to rise from the ashes of World War II, Sony, then called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo, made magnetic tapes using a similar grade of paper to that used for ordinary envelopes.

Sony used racoon hair brushes to daub magnetic powder over the paper to produce what it cally "SONI TAPE", starting its history as an audio-video products maker.

The Blu-ray disc format allows high-capacity optical-disc storage to be used for such technologies as high-definition televisions.

A group of manufacturers was set up in 2002 to promote a common standard for the disc format comprising Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, LG Electronics, Matsushita Electronics Industrial, Mitsubishi Electric Corp, Pioneer Corp, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sharp Corp, Sony Corp and Thomson. –Sapa-AFP


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