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Fixed CD

Extremely fast CD drive
  [vote for,

Over the years, the biggest problem with making faster CD drives has been that there is a limit to just how fast you can spin a CD without it deforming or wobbling. It's quite impressive that you can get 56x drives now, but drive manufacturers seem to have overlooked the obvious...

Instead of spinning the CD, why not spin the drive? Well, maybe not the entire drive, but I envisage something like this: the CD sits in the drive and never moves. Underneath there is a parabolic mirror. The laser is similar to that of a normal CD player - it can move to access different parts of the disc. In the centre is a spinning mirror which directs the laser beam to the appropriate bit of the disc. This can be made to extreme tolerances, and perfectly balanced, so that it can be spun at ridiculously high speeds. 1000x CD drive? No problem. You'd be able to read the entire CD in about 1 second. It would be very quiet, and you'd get transfer speeds rivalling any other kind of data storage.

The only problem might be that the drive might be quite large (to accommodate the mirror) - but the increase in transfer speeds might be enough in some applications for this to be irrelevant.

peterb, Jul 11 2003

Case of the Exploding CD-ROM http://www.paintbug.com/cdexplode/
"Summary: CD-ROM drives with spin factors higher than 64x are impossible to build, as most records reach their ultimate strength limit at this speed. Instead, other solutions have to be sought..." [krelnik, Oct 29 2004]


       good idea, but i think there is a problem with beam length, focusing and tracking.
barkinghugh, Jul 11 2003

       barkinghugh, aren't these the same problems that exist when spinning a CD conventionally? The laser has to keep focus as the CD wobbles up and down, and as the tracks aren't perfect spirals tracking is a problem.
peterb, Jul 11 2003

       Mr Burns, perhaps you could attach a spinning blade to the mirror, and the whole thing could double up as a food blender. You could read an entire CD in one second AND make a smoothie at the same time.
peterb, Jul 11 2003

       Just thought of this same idea, not too surprised someone beat me to it. If alignment is a problem, how about just spinning the laser & sensor right up next to the disk like they are now? Either way, I think this could be done.   

       Another benefit you don't mention: for music CDs, you could design an upright case (like a Bang & Olufsen) where the disk is easily visible while being played. That way you can see the disk artwork while it plays.   

       Added a link with background material, for those not familiar with the fact that current CD-ROM drives are near their theoretical physical speed limit.
krelnik, Oct 29 2004


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