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Flash CDR programmer

Program an entire Compact Disk at one go
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Recordable Compact disks are currently programmed by a laser shining on it, following a pilot groove, switching on and off in response to data. At a speed of 32x, it takes about 3 minutes to program a 700 Mb disk.

A faster solution would be to arrange giant LCD panels in the shape of a CD, form an image of the data track and focus an image on the CD to be burned. An array of flash lamps then expose the disk. The time to program can be reduced to a few milliseconds, comparable to the stamping process but without the need to make the stampers.

The drawbacks would be the need for a large (2G+) element LCD display, and high intensity flash lamps. But nothing that will not succumb to the relentless march of progress in both areas.

neelandan, Dec 23 2002


       Bright flash lamps would not be a problem, but an LCD with the required resolution, contrast ratio, alignment, and ability to survive the bright flash would seem to fall in the category of "magic". Present LCD technology is severely deficient in all those regards.   

       If a blank CD-R were a uniform flat surface, you might almost have a chance someday (though it's doubtful technology would make this idea feasible before it was totally obsolete), but a CD-R has a physical spiral groove. Getting this into alignment with the display would be a challenge even if the display itself could be constructed.   

       A potentially more interesting approach would be to construct a burner with multiple lasers. Ideally, one could burn a disk five times as quickly with five lasers as with one, though it would be difficult to get the areas written by the different lasers to line up perfectly so as to allow glitch-free playback. Further, I would suspect that a five-laser drive would cost well over five times as much as a single-laser one.
supercat, Sep 25 2007

       Actually you can buy a CD/DVD press that does not burn CDS but instead - presses them. Much cheaper and heavily baked.
anzlovar, Sep 25 2007

       Yes, indeed. Even blank CDR's (and CDRW's) are made by the same process: stampers press the spiral pattern together with address information on to the plastic before it gets coated with the light sensitive stuff that actually records the data.   

       The much cheaper and heavily baked solution becomes so only when millions of copies are needed.   

       My proposal was for producing a single disk.
neelandan, Sep 26 2007

       If you needed to write them so fast, it would probably be cheaper to get a CD press machine.
ironfroggy, Sep 28 2007


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