By James Wells in Berlin

BERLIN: TDK announced at the 2006 IFA exhibition in Berlin this week that it has created a six-layer single-sided Blu-ray disc for high definition recording which is capable of holding 200 gigabytes (GB) of data.

The new disc would double the capacity of TDK’s existing 100GB Blu-ray prototype. TDK’s new 200GB Blue-Laser Discs store approximately 18 hours of high definition video encoded at 24Mbps.

The initial Blu-ray disc standard allows for 25GB single-layer Blu-ray discs and 50GB dual-layer Blu-ray discs.

However, the latest signal processing innovation stretches the physical limits of optical media, holding 33.3GB on each of the disc’s six layers. As with the 100GB disc, and other Blu-ray disc media, TDK’s 200GB Blue-Laser disc is single sided.

"The ultra-ambitious technology roadmap for Blu-ray has now been confirmed as realistic, with landmarks such as this proving the long term value of the format against its rivals," TDK product manager, Taro Ikushima said in Berlin this week.

"TDK was the first to develop a prototype 100GB recordable Blu-ray disc, and yet again, our landmark achievement in creating a 200GB disc further cements the company’s position as a true pioneer in advancing the capabilities of optical media."

According to Ikushima, since Blu-ray disc media’s data tracks are quite narrow even in comparison with DVD media, precise and stable interaction of the laser with the recording material is especially critical to ensuring error-free recording and playback.

"That’s why TDK developed Durabis, an innovative hard coating technology that makes bare Blu-ray disc media a reality by protecting the disc surface against common contaminants such as scratches and fingerprints."

TDK claims Durabis increases the scratch resistance of Blu-ray disc media by a factor of 100 in comparison with a non-treated disc surface, following rigorous testing. The Durabis coating technology also rapidly discharges static electricity, and therefore also resists the accumulation of dust.