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Sony Touts Disc Made of Paper

26 Apr, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sony Corp. and Tokyo-based printing company Toppan Printing have announced the creation of a next-generation video disc that is more than 50 percent constructed out of paper.

The 25-gigabyte (GB) paper disc would be based on Blu-ray disc technology, which incorporates a 0.1mm top layer and 1.1mm substrate into a dual layer disc capable of recording up to two hours of high-definition programming on one side.

A current DVD consists of dual 0.6mm discs that are bonded together for two-sided recordability.

Company officials tout the environmental, artistic features, and security of the new disc.

“Since the Blu-ray disc does not require laser light to travel through the substrate, we were able to develop this paper disc,” said Masanobu Yamamoto, SGM of optical system development at Sony. “By increasing the capacity of the disc we can decrease the amount of raw material used per unit of information.”

There are about 20 billion optical CD/DVD discs produced annually worldwide, according to Sony.

Hideaki Kawai, managing director of R&D at Toppan, said the disc's paper construction eliminates the need to worry about preserving data security when disposing of the disc.

What company officials don't mention but is generally acknowledged is that Sony's determination to establish the Blu-ray disc as the industry standard for next generation DVD requires establishing a competitive retail cost.

Initial production runs of Blu-ray discs constructed of traditional polycarbonate plastic have resulted in a finished product that carries a $28 retail price.

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