Optical technique for data storage was driven from the challenges to achieve data storage performance required by the user. The first attempt to address the recording density improvement over HDD using magneto-optic technology started over thirty years ago. Subsequent efforts to develop 15", 12" and 5 and 1/4" WORM disc drives met with limited success. Advances in semiconductor lasers, lithography, and auto focusing and tracking techniques finally allow the development of the Compact Disc to answer the call for improvement in audio recording technology and data distribution in mid to late 1980. Recordable and erasable technology then followed with the introduction of CD-R, CD-RW and MO drives and media. By early 1990, advances in high density recording with the use of shorter wavelength lasers, larger n.a. lenses, improved lithographic and data compression techniques, allows the development of 4.7 GB DVD drives and discs to answer the challenge for recording 2-hour high quality movies on a CD size disc. Recordable and erasable DVD became available in 2000, and Dual Layer DVD was introduced last year . With the advent of HDTV and movie in recent years, Storage of 25 GB data in a DVD disc is needed. Blue-ray and HD-DVD are the leading technologies to answer this challenge. Looking to the future, optical storage areal density of one to two orders of magnitude improvement will be required to compete with HDD which is now reaching 133 Gb/in2 . In addition, high data transfer rate of 1Gb/s, data security, copy protection, ease of use, cost and standards issues sums up the monumental challenges facing the optical recording industry in the years to come. Some of the leading technologies, such as multi-layer, new encoding schemes, volume recording, near-field optics, micro-optics, domain expansion, UV laser, holographic storage, could provide the answers. Meeting these challenges, optical storage could become the dominant recording technology to satisfy the data storage needs for the convergent world of consumer electronics, information, and communication.
Optical data storage is now well into the second decade of continuing market and technology expansion. Media removability, which is the main attribute of this technology, presented the optical recording industry with unmatched opportunities and also new challenges. On the one hand, data interchange between the media and drives from different sources becomes a major concern, which can only be solved if international standards for all optical recording disk/cartridge are available. Many standards organizations, with the help of world wide industrial support, took up the challenge, and numerous international standards were established which are now being adapted. On the other hand, copy protection technology must be developed to prevent illegal copying and distribution of contents using this removable media. This need is accentuated by the proliferation of low cost CD and now DVD disks replication means and the availability of recordable and rewritable CD and DVD devices. This paper provides an update of the brief summary of the current status of the international optical disk standards published earlier and a brief review of the copy protection technology.
Optical technology for data storage offers media removability with unsurpassed reliability. As the media are removable, data interchange between the media and drives from different sources is a major concern. The optical recording community realized, at the inception of this new storage technology development, that international standards for all optical recording disk/cartridge must be established to insure the healthy growth of this industry and for the benefit of the users. Many standards organizations took up the challenge and numerous international standards were established which are now being used world-wide. This paper provides a brief summary of the current status of the international optical disk standards.