With a per layer capacity of 25 gigabytes, Pioneer has developed an optical drive that has a total capacity of 400 gigabytes. This means that some time in the near future we are going to be able to burn 400 gigabytes of data to a single disk.

As for the read-out system, Pioneer achieved stability in the playback of recorded signals by employing a wide-range spherical aberration compensator and light-receiving element that can read out weak signals at a high signal-to-noise ratio in the optical pick-up mechanism. Since the optical specifications of the objective lens, such as NA (Numerical Aperture)*2, are the same as those for the existing BD discs, it is possible to maintain compatibility between the new 16-layer optical disc and the BD discs.

The 16-layer optical disc technology, capable of storing much more data than the conventional discs on one disc, will greatly reduce the number of discs to be used and therefore contribute to the conservation of resources.

If you are wondering how much these new players are going to cost, I was thinking the same thing. As always the first new products are traditionally high until the masses start to buy them. I still remember buying my first CD recorder and paying $400 for it. Technology always amazes me when something new and improved is introduced.

Comments welcome.

Pioneer press release.