Panasonic Starts Pilot Production of 50-GIGABYTE Blu-ray Discs in Torrance, California

New Dual-Layer Spin Coat Technology Doubles Disc Capacity

Dec 05, 2005, 00:00 ET from Panasonic

    TORRANCE, Calif., Dec. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Panasonic has modified
 its existing pilot production line for single-layer Blu-ray Discs, called
 BD-ROM, so that it is able to replicate dual-layer BD-ROM discs with 50
 gigabytes (GB) of storage capacity. The new pilot replication line is housed
 within the Panasonic Disc Manufacturing Corporation of America, which is
 located here in Torrance, Calif. Single-layer Blu-ray Discs have 25 GB of
 storage capacity for holding video and other data, while current DVD discs
 have 8.5 GB of storage at most.
     The doubling of BD-ROM disc storage capacity is enabled by spin coating
 technologies developed by Panasonic that create two recorded layers on a
 single side of a Blu-ray Disc. In the process, readily available inexpensive
 UV curable resins are used in the creation of the space layer, cover layer and
 hard-coat, resulting in a reduction in disc replication costs. Video and other
 data is then embedded in the layers for playback later using a blue
 laser-equipped Blu-ray Disc player, recorder or BD-ROM drive-equipped PC.
     The Torrance pilot production line is able to produce dual-layer BD-ROM
 discs with the attachment of a dual-layer replication line module to the
 existing single-layer line. Single-layer BD-ROM discs are currently being
 produced on the pilot line with more than 80% yield rates. Panasonic expects
 to provide sample dual-layer BD-ROM discs to the industry for testing by the
 end of this month.
     "Working closely with the movie studios and our replication partners,
 Panasonic was able to foresee the need for greater disc capacity to give
 consumers a much richer user experience," said Eisuke Tsuyuzaki, director of
 Strategy & Alliances, Panasonic Hollywood Lab.
      Panasonic expects to highlight the new replication process for dual-layer
 BD-ROM discs at the Blu-ray Disc Association's booth (#9444, Main Hall, Las
 Vegas Convention Center) during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas,
 January 5-8, 2006.
     The additional capacity will allow movies and other High Definition video
 titles to be stored, along with value-added features, on a single Blu-ray
 Disc. The BD-ROM format is expected to succeed DVDs as the preferred medium
 for High Definition movies and other packaged entertainment content for the
 home as the nation moves from analog TV to digital and High Definition
     About Panasonic
     Best known by its Panasonic brand name, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.,
 Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic
 products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based
 in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of $81.44 billion
 for the year ended March 31, 2005. The company's shares are listed on the
 Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, New York (NYSE:   MC), Euronext Amsterdam and Frankfurt
 stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand,
 visit the company's website at

SOURCE Panasonic