March 02, 2007
Blu-ray discs are outselling HD DVD by a ration of 100 to 98.71. Fueled by the rising sales of Playstation 3 equipped with Blu-ray player (and the cheapest at $500/$600), Nielsen VideoScan stats show Blu-ray discs is outselling HD DVD for the first time. The ratio is 100 Blu-ray to every 98.71 HD DVD discs, according to the stats. HD DVD was introduced before Blu-ray and has finally began outselling Blu-ray. Currently, there are 183 Blu-ray movies and 169 HD-DVD movies. 18 movie studios back Blu-ray and 19 back HD-DVD. See more stats here
February 25, 2007
Reports are stating that Japanese company Nichia have developed a blue-violet semiconductor laser diode with a high enough power to burn Blu-ray and HD DVD optical discs at up to ten times speed.
February 18, 2007
Samsung has announced the introduction of a new and improved SIM card solution, dubbed the S-SIM. The new SIM card technology will support present day MMC standard interface along with the USB 2.0 and InterChip-USB interfaces. It is based on the original SIM standard to ensure compatibility with conventional systems and support high-speed host interfaces like USB and MMC cards. Samsung's S-SIM cards incorporate user memory up to 1 GB on the SIM card itself, removing the need for a separate memory card such as microSD. The main advantage of the S-SIM is the possibility it offers mobile operators and SIM card makers, which can now build future services using either the old or the new standards. The S-SIM is controlled by a separate microprocessor that has its own RAM and automatically configures itself to the interface that it detects, thus allowing instant support for advanced services like near-field communications. Samsung's new S-SIM card solution will become available to SIM card manufacturers in the next few months.
February 09, 2007
Apple may begin replacing hard drive based iPods with solid state NAND flash memory. The move in using an all Flash based iPod would make way for smaller and thinner iPods, and improvement in battery life, according to a report from Prudential Equity Group analyst Jesse Tortora. "We believe that the video iPod transition from 1.8-inch hard disk drives to NAND flash memory may occur as soon as late 2007," Tortora wrote. Although 32GB is the highest capacity in NAND Flash memory, Totora questions whether this is sufficient enough for an iPod to hold video. He also said that a 30GB of HDD-based iPod can last around 40 hours of video content, but only has about 3.5 hours of battery life for video playback. Replacing the hard drive with flash memory would allow for an increase of about 60 percent in battery life to 5.5 hours of video playback. Further, he believes the next generation video iPod will come with a touch wide screen, Wi-Fi built-in to transfer files between Apple TV and will have GPS functionality.
In related news, Samsung announced the world's first laptop based on NAND Flash Memory and SanDisk announces Flash hard drives for notebooks.
January 28, 2007
About two weeks ago Sony backing out of an agreement with adult film studio Digital Playground to publish their movies in Blu-Ray. Digital Playground has decided to publish their works exclusively in HD-DVD format. There Joone, Digital Playground's founder, and adult movie director, claimed that the US facilities that publish Blu-Ray discs told him that Sony threatened to revoke their Blu-Ray licenses if they published adult material.
As Gizmo Blog says "Back in the 1980s, when VHS and Betamax dueled it out over movie lovers" wallets, the former won out when Beta turned its nose up at porn." This is comparable to the HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray format war of late. But now, since Blu-ray apparently will do porn, it's becoming even harder to tell which format will prevail. Maybe both? Three days ago (January 25th) Sony said it's not trying to stop adult studios from releasing their titles on Blu-ray. Here's what Sony had to say: "There's no prohibition against adult content," Lisa Gephardt, a spokeswoman for Sony Corp. of America, said. "We don't tell people how they can use the licenses they get from the Blu-ray Disc Association." Sony still has a long-standing policy not to manufacture DVDs with adult content. "Sony disc manufacturing will not manufacture adult titles," Gephardt said. "We have never done it, and we have no plans to."
January 25, 2007
U.S. scientists say they've encoded an entire image's worth of data into a single photon, stored it and then retrieved the image intact. University of Rochester researchers say the ability to squeeze that much information into so small a space and retrieve it intact opens the door to optical buffering -- the ability to store information as light. "You can have a tremendous amount of information in a pulse of light, but normally if you try to buffer it, you can lose much of that information," said Ryan Camacho, Howell's graduate student and lead author on the article. "We're showing it's possible to pull out an enormous amount of information with an extremely high signal-to-noise ratio even with very low light levels."
By using a single photon, the team played on a strange property of light: quantum mechanical theory holds that while light is emitted as discrete particles called photons, it can also be thought of as a wave. As a wave, the light passed through all parts of the stencil at once, carrying the 'shadow' of the UR with it. The photon then entered a 10 cm long tube filled with cesium gas heated to 100
January 21, 2007
Fujitsu claims that it has developed a key technology that would allow the company to quintuple today's highest commercial storage densities in hard disk media. If researchers will be able to transfer the technology into commercial products, we could see 5 TB desktop drives and 1.5 TB notebook drives in the not too distant future. Fujitsu was not able to comment on the track width of the hard drives in production today, but mentioned that the technology would allow storage density to climb to about 1 Tb/inch^2 - more than five times the density that is available in production hard drives today. This density corresponds to what most hard drive manufacturers consider to be "superparamagnetic" limit for the recently introduced perpendicular magnetic recording technology (PMR). The current storage density record is held by Seagate, which claimed in September of last year the development of a storage device with 421 Gb/inch^2 storage density.
At least in theory, a density of 1 Tb/inch^2, would translate into 3.5" drives with a capacity of about 5 TB, 2.5" notebook drives with 1.5 TB and 1.8" portable drives with about 500 GB. Research programs, however, indicate that patterned media could go far beyond 1 Tb. A team of physicists at the University of Houston announced last year that patterned media could reach a density of up to 20 - 40 Tb/inch^2.
January 16, 2007
Warner Bros.'s new disc, called Total HD, is expected to hit stores in the second half of this year. The format will combine competing Blu-ray and HD DVD technologies on a single disc. "It behooved us to figure out a way to transition (consumers) from standard definition to high definition DVDs," Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Entertainment, told Reuters at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "From our perspective we don't care if it's Blu-ray or HD-DVD. We just want the transition to occur." In a presentation, executives said the prices of the discs would not be materially different from single-format discs and that the dual-format discs could be made dual-sided as well as single-sided. A number of top U.S. retailers have pledged support for Time Warner's proposed combination DVD format. Best Buy, Circuit City and Amazon.com said they will carry Total HD. Warner Bros. said at the Consumer Electronics Show that the first titles released using the format, which will be playable in either a Blu-ray or HD DVD player, are scheduled to ship in the second half of 2007. Meanwhile, LG Electronics introduced the first hardware device to play both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs -- the $1,200 BH100 "Super Multi Blue" player -- at the trade show in Las Vegas this week.
January 16, 2007
Hitachi showcased playback of a four-layer Blu-Ray disc featuring a capacity of 25GB per layer. The company said that the drive used for reading was a standard Blu-Ray drive, at its booth at the 2007 International CES. There have been other academic reports of creating fourlayer (100GB) or even six layer (200GB) disc media by TDK. Some companies have also showcased playback of multi-layer BD media using test players embedded with a special optical head. But in the current demonstation, Hitachi used a 'standard drive'. Hitachi used an optical disc drive based on the "GBW-H10N" supporting 4x speed BD recording, which Hitachi-LG Data Storage, Inc. announced in July 2006. However, the company made some alterations to the firmware and the optical system inside the head, to make the player compatible with four-layer BD playback. Frontend signal processing (Renesas) and other circuits are the same as those used in the "GBW-H10N."
Of course, the demonstration did not include playback of video. Hitachi set up a reference system that included a PC, the BD drive connected to an oscilator, tuned to display the HF reading signal and especially the data patterns of the disc, which indicate the BD recording marks. Hitachi said, that developing this technology required a drive capable of detecting which layer to read. The company has not specified how the pickup lens actually detects the readout layer, but reportedly explored a wide variety of methods including a very basic way, in which the pickup lens finds a targeted layer by scanning each layer in order of shorter distance from the optical head.
Quadruple BD capacity could be used for storing Digital Cinema Picture Quality content in the future. For example, a 100GB disc could hold 3.5h hours of 64Mbps video (resolution 4K-2K).
January 13, 2007
Just after Seagate gave confirmation of there plans to give us a 1TB desktop HDD for the beginning of 2007, Hitachi is doing the same. However, according to Gizmodo, "The company, apparently, can't keep a promise, since they originally claimed that it'd have one last year." The Hitachi's 3.5in Desktar 7K1000 will cost $399, 750GB version as well. So I think HItachi will actually deliver this time. Especially since Seagate is putting on serious pressure and has been with their 750GB Barracuda, out since June 2006.