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NHK's 15k RPM optical disc recording system utilizes Blu-ray technology

Darren Murph

Pulling out the 15k RPM card this late in the game would usually be frowned upon, but in the case of NHK, its latest development to spin at 15,000 revolutions per minute has nothing to do with a hard disk drive. Researchers at Nippon Hoso Kyokai are working with engineers at the Science and Technical Research Laboratories (STRL) to create an "optical disc recording system based on consumer Blu-ray disc technology that can spin as fast as 15,000 RPM" without worry of a disc experiencing a complete meltdown and shattering within the drive. The first iteration was reportedly demonstrated just last week, and could purportedly be used to record 250Mbps HDTV streams; furthermore, researchers have seemingly dodged the disintegration issue by "making a flexible disc that is just 0.1-millimeters thick." The disc was co-developed with Ricoh and is "essentially the recording layer from a Blu-ray Disc without the 1.1-millimeter plastic substrate that is used to give the disc rigidity," thus, a "thick stabilizing plate has been added into the drive" to keep volatility at a minimum. NHK reportedly claimed that this newfangled approach was similar to that seen in the Stacked Volumetric Optical Disc, but unfortunately, it wasn't able to hand out any hard numbers as to when we'd see this stuff in action.

[Image courtesy of DigitalArts]

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