Used in drives like Yamaha's new product, CD-ReWritable (CD-RW) discs are identical to ubiquitous CD-ROM disks except for one important difference: data can be recorded. CD-ROMs only allow the playback of data.
CD-RW discs can also record data up to 1000 times, while the previous generation of rewritable CD discs, called CD-R, only allowed data to be recorded once.
Yamaha's CRW4001t is a multifunction drive compatible with all three standards. Using 650MB discs made by Ricoh and Mitsubishi--the only two manufacturers in the field--it reads at a speed of 6X (six times normal input speed), records at 4X, and rewrites at 2X.
Rewritten CDs produced by device are readable by newer, multiread CD-ROM drives as well as CD-R and CD-RW devices, while CD-Rs can be read by CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW drives, according to Yamaha.
The ATAPI-interface, internal-drive CRW4001t costs $549. Similar models using a SCSI interface will be available in October.
Also today, Japan Computer & Communications said it is shipping a recordable CD drive that reads at 6X and records at 2X.
The JCD-62R carries a retail price of $495.