Plextor breaks 16x speed barrier for DVD writers

Fremont (CA) - Plextor is the first company that apparently has found a way to increase DVD writer speeds beyond the 16x mark, which has been considered a physical limitation for DVD media. The new writer increases the maximum write speed from about 21 MB/s to about 24 MB/s.

If your 16x DVD writer is getting old and you are already waiting for an update, Plextor may have good news for you. While the DVD media industry as well as drive manufacturers have agreed that 16x will be the fastest writing speed to be released for DVDs, Plextor today said that it is crashing the party with an 18x drive.

The announcement is surprising as 16x rotation and write speeds have been considered the physical limit of what DVDs are able to sustain. With discs spinning up to 11,000 rpm, firms such as Sony said that an increase in rotation speed would create forces that could crack the polycarbonate material of a DVD.

Plextor has not released the rotation speed of its new PX-760A writer, but claims that the data transfer speed increases by just about 15% over a 16x device, which effectively makes the model an 18x burner. 16x writers typically offer write speeds of up to 21 MB/s (16 x 1.32 MB/s); Plextor says that its PX-760A tops out at 24.94 MB/s, with sustained data rates dropping as low as 9.97 MB/s (8x).

Plextor claims that 18x speeds can be achieved with certified 16x DVD+/-R media. DVD+R double layer (8.5 GB) DVD media can we burned with up to 10x speeds.

The internal PC drive will be shipping in April and carry a suggested retail price of $120.