Sony Expands License for Phase-Change Optical Disc Technology

On March 12, Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. announced that Sony Corporation has expanded its royalty-bearing license under ECD's proprietary phase-change rewritable optical-memory technology to include advanced technology for use in rewritable CD and DVD optical-memory products. Phase-change technology, invented by ECD, is used in PD and CD-RW rewritable optical-memory discs.

Stanford R. Ovshinsky, President and CEO of ECD, noted the significance of the announcement, saying, "ECD is proud to continue and expand its long association with Sony, a leader in this field. Technology licensed from ECD is incorporated in all of the major rewritable optical-memory products on or coming to market." The new agreement extends the scope of Sony's original 1985 license to include enabling technology for Sony's present and future rewritable optical-memory products.

ECD's phase-change technology is now used in both of the popular 650-megabyte rewritable optical-memory disk formats, PD and CD-RW, and it will be used in very-high-capacity rewritable DVD disks that Sony will introduce later this year. Rewritable 120mm DVD discs will be available in two data formats: DVD-RW, developed by Sony, and DVD-RAM, developed by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Both of these high-capacity data formats are extensions of the present PD and CD-RW formats, respectively, and both use ECD's proprietary phase-change rewritable optical-memory technology. Matsushita, Toshiba Corporation, TDK Corporation, Toray Industries, Inc., and others are also ECD licensees.