News | April 13, 1999

Sony Introduces Next-Generation Magneto Optical Technology; New Technology Uses Magnetically Induced Super Resolution

ATLANTA (April 13) BUSINESS WIRE -April 13, 1999--Sony today announced it has developed the next generation of high density 5.25-inch magneto optical (MO) drive and disk technology.

This advanced technology is expected to increase the capacity of the ISO standard, 5.25 MO format to 9.1GB, which is nearly double the capacity of the current 5.2GB offering and 14 times the capacity of the first generation 650MB MO drives and media. Backward read compatibility will be maintained for all four previous generations of media.

"For many years magneto optical has been one of the most stable and reliable formats in the storage industry," said Toshi Kawai, marketing manager of magneto optical drives for Sony Electronics' Component Company. "Sony's development of 14X MO demonstrates its consistent technical leadership that spans more than a decade since the first MO drive was introduced."

The key to achieving the increased capacity of this new technology is the use of Magnetically induced Super Resolution or MSR. MSR technology allows optical drives to read recorded marks on the disk that are smaller than the laser beam spot size, while reducing the potential for "cross-talk" from adjacent tracks. This technique allows for a significant increase in track density, while maintaining data integrity.

With this next-generation MO technology Sony has also incorporated an innovation called Land and Groove Recording. With Land and Groove Recording, data is recorded on both the surface space of the recording layer (Land) and the deeper spiral track (Groove). This allows for a narrower track pitch, resulting in more efficient use of the total recording surface of the disk.

"Hewlett-Packard was pleased to be part of the cooperative effort with Sony that has led to the advancement of magneto-optical technology to the next capacity level -- and into the 21st century," said Bob Wilson, Business Unit Manager for Hewlett-Packard's Optical Jukebox Business Unit. "As the leading magneto-optical jukebox provider, we are firmly committed to this technology and to the customers we serve. We look forward to the release of Sony's 9.1GB optical drives, and plan full support and integration of this technology with future HP magneto-optical jukebox products."

Other leading jukebox manufacturers, including Plasmon, Inc. and Disc, Inc. have also expressed an intent to support the 14X technology.

Sony plans to introduce 14X MO drives and media in the year 2000.

Based in San Jose, the Magneto Optical Products Division of Sony
Electronics' Component Company markets optical drives through OEM,
industrial distribution and reseller channels. Last fiscal year, Sony
Electronics had record annual sales of more than $10.5 billion. For
additional information about Sony computer products, call 800/352-7669
or visit Sony's World Wide Web site at

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CONTACT: Sony Electronics Inc.

           Jim Leal, 408/955-4469


Technology Solutions, Inc.

           Angel Badagliacco, 408/280-6000

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