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Sony ships blue laser optical drives

Sony Electronics on Monday said it is shipping blue laser-based optical storage drives and related products to equipment manufacturers and system integrators. The new Professional Disc for Data products include media cartridges that store up to 23GB of data, Sony said. The new devices should appeal to customers seeking more capacity than is possible with 9.1GB magneto-optical discs, according to Sony. Magneto-optical discs are used in drives that feature both a laser and a magnetic read-write head. Sony said its new technology is ideal for applications such as document and medical imaging, e-mail archiving and multimedia projects.

Blue laser drives represent the next generation in optical recording technology, using a short-wavelength violet laser--instead of the red lasers in current optical drives--to read data from the discs. Last month, Sony rival Plasmon announced the launch of products based on a blue-laser technology called Ultra Density Optical.