It finally looks like the enormous burning times for Blu-ray media are starting to come down...
Panasonic is the hero this time around after announcing plans to ship both single (25GB) and dual layer (50GB) discs with 4x burning capabilities by the summer.
The breakthrough was achieved after the company succeeded in developing a new 'phase-change' recording layer on the disc's surface which results in a maximum data transfer speed of 144Mbps – which equates to roughly 1GB per minute.
Panasonic also states that the new recording layer has a wide power margin when burning anywhere between 1x and 4x. The result is greater stabilisation for drives where the laser power fluctuates and should lead to fewer costly coasters and greater drive compatibility. Overall, Panasonic calculates that error rates could be reduced to just 10 per cent of that of a conventional Blu-ray burner. Impressive stuff.
So after being available to the mass market for over a year (the first Panasonic BD-RE disc was actually unveiled way back in 2004!) Blu-ray discs finally look set to climb the speed charts. With Nichia also claiming to have 10x capable Blu-ray & HD DVD burners out early next year shaving and showering will no longer be required between sessions.