Although not strictly digital photography news it may well be important to the many people who archive images to CD-R and also bearing in mind Sony's recent releases of the CD200 and CD300 digital cameras which both write directly to CD-R/RW. The new DDCD format agreed by Sony and Philips was announced last July, this new drive is the first which can read/write at the new double density level.

Phil: This is good news for those of you who archive your images to CD-R (assuming the format catches on) and may be interesting news if Sony decide to push this technology into their CD Mavica line, at double density it would provide 300 MB of storage on a single 8 cm CD-R/RW.

Double Density CD vs. Normal CD

Double Density CD-ROM/R/RW CD-ROM/R/RW
Data capacity 1.3 GB (2048 B/sector) 650 MB (2048 B/sector)
Laser wave length 780 nm
Object lens Play: NA=0.50
Record/Play: NA=0.55
Play: NA=0.45
Record/Play: NA=0.50
Disc size 12 cm
Track pitch 1.1 µm 1.6 µm
Minimum pit length 0.623 µm 0.833 µm
Line speed 0.90 m/second 1.2 - 1.4 m/second
Error correction CIRC7 CIRC
Modulation EFM

Sony CRX200E specifications

Name Sony CRX200E
Interface ATAPI
Recording capacity 1.3 GB (DD-R/RW) and 650/700 MB (CD-R/RW)
Write speed (DD-R/CD-R) 12 x
Write speed (DD-RW/CD-RW) 8 x
Read speed 32 x (or less)
Buffer 8 MB
Access time (average) 150 ms
Read format DD-ROM (Purple book), CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-DA, CD Extra, CD-Text, CD, Video CD, Photo CD
Write format Disc at once (CD-R/RW), Session at once (CD-R/RW), Track at once (CD-RW, DD-R/RW), Packet light (CD-RW/RW, DD-R/RW)
Expected release date 13 April 2001 (Japan)