Imation to Manufacture HD DVD and Blu-ray Writable Optical Media

Imation Corp announced it has begun its scale-up of manufacturing for HD DVD and Blu-ray optical recordable media in preparation for product introduction in early 2006. The company invested more than $10 million in 2005 in research, development and modular manufacturing capabilities to position Imation among the industry leaders delivering the newest high-capacity optical formats to customers.

A member of the Blu-ray Disc Association and DVD Forum, Imation has dedicated teams completing technology development and final product refinements for single layer and double layer advanced optical formats. To enable flexibility in responding to market requirements for both Blu-ray and HD DVD products, the company will utilize modular manufacturing processes and leverage key Imation technologies at its Oakdale, Minn. facility, including:

- Patented Exacting High-Density Mastering. A proprietary, first-of-its-kind "reverse mastering and inverted stamping" process helps create the next generation of optical formats of HD DVD and Blu-ray optical media with track pitches less than 425 nanometers (at these densities more than 250 tracks would fit across the width of a human hair). Imation's patented mastering techniques, used in conjunction with its state-of-the-art deep UV and custom UV mastering systems, ensure this first, and most critical, stage of manufacturing creates a HD DVD or Blu-ray master with recording tracks of extremely high precision, resolution and consistency, resulting in cost-effective manufactured discs with superior recording quality.
- Nano-Replication and Precision Molding. Imation pioneered the use of advanced photopolymer nano-replication for stamper production, the next manufacturing stage for optical discs. Combined with the advantages of Imation's exacting high-density mastering technology, its unique nano-replication process creates precision stampers with extremely high consistency and fidelity. Imation's precision molding processes ensure the excellent mechanical and replication characteristics necessary to consistently create the best possible discs for recording and playback.
- High-Performance Thin-Film Composition. Imation's historical experience and leadership in thin-film engineering led to the design of thin-film information storage layers in its rewritable disks. These thin-film information storage layers are composed of a precise mixture of germanium, antimony and tellurium that deliver both very low jitter and excellent data retention - ranking among the best of all Blu-ray media manufacturers. Imation's new state-of-the-art thin-film production coater, located at its Oakdale Discovery Technology Center, is capable of manufacturing all thin-film-based optical recording formats including single layer and double layer rewritable and write-once discs.
- Vacuum-Bonding Process. Imation uses a vacuum-bonding process for the final and critical manufacturing stage of bonding the 100 micron cover layer on Blu-ray discs and the 0.6 mm substrates for HD DVD discs. Through vacuum-bonding, Imation achieves excellent uniformity and adhesion in this cost-effective bonding technique, ensuring consistent high-performance and reliable media.
- Hard Coating. A protective disc coating that provides scratch-resistance, anti-static dust resistance and smear-resistance provides a more durable, protected media surface.
- Industry Compatibility. Through participation and contribution in the DVD Forum and BDA testing and verification processes, all Imation Blu-ray and HD DVD media will be manufactured to meet format and content protection specifications to achieve compatibility with industry hardware that also meets these standards.

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