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Physical Characteristics of Disks

1. The storage capacity of a single disk ranges from 10MB to 10GB. A typical commercial
database may require hundreds of disks.
2. Figure 10.2 shows a moving-head disk mechanism.
o Each disk platter has a flat circular shape. Its two surfaces are covered with a
magnetic material and information is recorded on the surfaces. The platter of hard
disks are made from rigid metal or glass, while floppy disks are made from
flexible material.
o The disk surface is logically divided into tracks, which are subdivided into
sectors. A sector (varying from 32 bytes to 4096 bytes, usually 512 bytes) is the
smallest unit of information that can be read from or written to disk. There are 432 sectors per track and 20-1500 tracks per disk surface.
o The arm can be positioned over any one of the tracks.
o The platter is spun at high speed.
o To read information, the arm is positioned over the correct track.
o When the data to be accessed passes under the head, the read or write operation
is performed.
3. A disk typically contains multiple platters (see Figure 10.2). The read-write heads of all
the tracks are mounted on a single assembly called a disk arm, and move together.
o Multiple disk arms are moved as a unit by the actuator.
o Each arm has two heads, to read disks above and below it.
o The set of tracks over which the heads are located forms a cylinder.
o This cylinder holds that data that is accessible within the disk latency time.
o It is clearly sensible to store related data in the same or adjacent cylinders.
4. Disk platters range from 1.8" to 14" in diameter, and 5"1/4 and 3"1/2 disks dominate due
to the lower cost and faster seek time than do larger disks, yet they provide high storage

5. A disk controller interfaces between the computer system and the actual hardware of the
disk drive. It accepts commands to r/w a sector, and initiate actions. Disk controllers also
attach checksums to each sector to check read error.
6. Remapping of bad sectors: If a controller detects that a sector is damaged when the disk
is initially formatted, or when an attempt is made to write the sector, it can logically map
the sector to a different physical location.
7. SCSI (Small Computer System Interconnect) is commonly used to connect disks to PCs
and workstations. Mainframe and server systems usually have a faster and more
expensive bus to connect to the disks.
8. Head crash: why cause the entire disk failing (?).
9. A fixed dead disk has a separate head for each track -- very many heads, very expensive.
Multiple disk arms: allow more than one track to be accessed at a time. Both were used in
high performance mainframe systems but are relatively rare today.

The standard RAID levels are a basic set of RAID configurations that employ the techniques of
striping, mirroring, or parity to create large reliable data stores from general purpose computer
hard disk drives. The most common types today are RAID 0 (striping), RAID 1 and variants
(mirroring), RAID 5 (distributed parity) and RAID 6 (dual parity). RAID levels and their
associated data formats are standardized by the Storage Networking Industry Association in the
Common RAID Disk Drive Format (DDF) standard.[1]

1 RAID 0

1.1 Performance

2 RAID 1

3 RAID 2

4 RAID 3

5 RAID 4

6 RAID 5

7 RAID 6

7.1 Performance (speed)

7.2 Implementation

7.2.1 Computing parity

8 Comparison

9 Non-standard RAID levels and non-RAID drive architectures

10 Notes

11 References

12 External links


Diagram of a RAID 0 setup

A RAID 0 (also known as a stripe set or striped volume) splits data evenly across two or more
disks (striped), without parity information and with speed as the intended goal. RAID 0 was not
one of the original RAID levels and provides no data redundancy. RAID 0 is normally used to
increase performance, although it can also be used as a way to create a large logical disk out of
two or more physical ones.
A RAID 0 can be created with disks of differing sizes, but the storage space added to the array by
each disk is limited to the size of the smallest disk. For example, if a 100 GB disk is striped
together with a 350 GB disk, the size of the array will be 200 GB (100 GB 2).

The diagram shows how the data is distributed into Ax stripes to the disks. Accessing the stripes
in the order A1, A2, A3, ... provides the illusion of a larger and faster drive. Once the stripe size
is defined on creation it needs to be maintained at all times.
RAID 0 is also used in areas where performance is desired and data integrity is not very
important, for example in some computer gaming systems. Although some real-world tests with
computer games showed a minimal performance gain when using RAID 0, albeit with some
desktop applications benefiting,[2][3] another article examined these claims and concluded:
"Striping does not always increase performance (in certain situations it will actually be slower
than a non-RAID setup), but in most situations it will yield a significant improvement in

Diagram of a RAID 1 setup

An exact copy (or mirror) of a set of data on two disks. This is useful when read performance or
reliability is more important than data storage capacity. Such an array can only be as big as the
smallest member disk. A classic RAID 1 mirrored pair contains two disks.[5]

RAID Level 2

A RAID 2 stripes data at the bit (rather than block) level, and uses a Hamming code for error
correction. The disks are synchronized by the controller to spin at the same angular orientation
(they reach Index at the same time), so it generally cannot service multiple requests
simultaneously. Extremely high data transfer rates are possible. This is the only original level of
RAID that is not currently used.[6][7]
All hard disks eventually implemented Hamming code error correction. This made RAID 2 error
correction redundant and unnecessarily complex. This level quickly became useless and is now
obsolete. There are no commercial applications of RAID 2.[6][7]

Diagram of a RAID 3 setup of 6-byte blocks and two parity bytes, shown are two
blocks of data in different colors.

A RAID 3 uses byte-level striping with a dedicated parity disk. RAID 3 is very rare in practice.
One of the characteristics of RAID 3 is that it generally cannot service multiple requests
simultaneously. This happens because any single block of data will, by definition, be spread

across all members of the set and will reside in the same location. So, any I/O operation requires
activity on every disk and usually requires synchronized spindles.
This makes it suitable for applications that demand the highest transfer rates in long sequential
reads and writes, for example uncompressed video editing. Applications that make small reads
and writes from random disk locations will get the worst performance out of this level.[7]
The requirement that all disks spin synchronously, a.k.a. lockstep, added design considerations to
a level that didn't give significant advantages over other RAID levels, so it quickly became
useless and is now obsolete.[6] Both RAID 3 and RAID 4 were quickly replaced by RAID 5.[8]
RAID 3 was usually implemented in hardware, and the performance issues were addressed by
using large disk caches.[7]

Diagram of a RAID 4 setup with dedicated parity disk with each color representing
the group of blocks in the respective parity block (a stripe)

A RAID 4 uses block-level striping with a dedicated parity disk.

In the example on the right, a read request for block A1 would be serviced by disk 0. A
simultaneous read request for block B1 would have to wait, but a read request for B2 could be
serviced concurrently by disk 1.
RAID 4 is very uncommon, but one enterprise level company that has previously used it is
NetApp. The aforementioned performance problems were solved with their proprietary Write
Anywhere File Layout (WAFL), an approach to writing data to disk locations that minimizes the
conventional parity RAID write penalty. By storing system metadata (inodes, block maps, and
inode maps) in the same way application data is stored, WAFL is able to write file system
metadata blocks anywhere on the disk. This approach in turn allows multiple writes to be

"gathered" and scheduled to the same RAID stripeeliminating the traditional read-modifywrite penalty prevalent in parity-based RAID schemes.[9]

Diagram of a RAID 5 setup with distributed parity with each color representing the
group of blocks in the respective parity block (a stripe). This diagram shows left
asymmetric algorithm

A RAID 5 comprises block-level striping with distributed parity. Unlike in RAID 4, parity
information is distributed among the drives. It requires that all drives but one be present to
operate. Upon failure of a single drive, subsequent reads can be calculated from the distributed
parity such that no data is lost.[10] RAID 5 requires at least three disks.[11]

Diagram of a RAID 6 setup, which is identical to RAID 5 other than the addition of a
second parity block

RAID 6 extends RAID 5 by adding an additional parity block; thus it uses block-level striping
with two parity blocks distributed across all member disks.

Performance (speed)
RAID 6 does not have a performance penalty for read operations, but it does have a performance
penalty on write operations because of the overhead associated with parity calculations.
Performance varies greatly depending on how RAID 6 is implemented in the manufacturer's
storage architecture in software, firmware or by using firmware and specialized ASICs for
intensive parity calculations. It can be as fast as a RAID-5 system with one fewer drive (same
number of data drives).[12]
According to the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), the definition of RAID 6 is:
"Any form of RAID that can continue to execute read and write requests to all of a RAID array's
virtual disks in the presence of any two concurrent disk failures. Several methods, including dual
check data computations (parity and Reed-Solomon), orthogonal dual parity check data and
diagonal parity, have been used to implement RAID Level 6."[13]
Computing parity

Two different syndromes need to be computed in order to allow the loss of any two drives. One
of them, P can be the simple XOR of the data across the stripes, as with RAID 5. A second,
independent syndrome is more complicated and requires the assistance of field theory.
To deal with this, the Galois field
data can be written as

is introduced with

, where

for a suitable irreducible polynomial

of degree . A chunk of
in base 2 where each is either 0 or 1. This is chosen to

correspond with the element

in the Galois field.

correspond to the stripes of data across hard drives encoded as
field elements in this manner (in practice they would probably be broken into byte-sized chunks).
If is some generator of the field and denotes addition in the field while concatenation denotes
multiplication, then and may be computed as follows ( denotes the number of data disks):

For a computer scientist, a good way to think about this is that

is a bitwise XOR operator and

is the action of a linear feedback shift register on a chunk of data. Thus, in the formula above,
the calculation of P is just the XOR of each stripe. This is because addition in any
characteristic two finite field reduces to the XOR operation. The computation of Q is the XOR of
a shifted version of each stripe.

Mathematically, the generator is an element of the field such that

nonnegative satisfying

is different for each

If one data drive is lost, the data can be recomputed from P just like with RAID 5. If two data
drives are lost or a data drive and the drive containing P are lost, the data can be recovered from
P and Q or from just Q, respectively, using a more complex process. Working out the details is
extremely hard with field theory. Suppose that
the other values of

, constants



are the lost values with

may be found so that

. Using


Multiplying both sides of the equation for


and adding to the former equation yields

and thus a solution for

, which may be used to compute

The computation of Q is CPU intensive compared to the simplicity of P. Thus, a RAID 6
implemented in software will have a more significant effect on system performance, and a
hardware solution will be more complex.
This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help
improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced
material may be challenged and removed. (May 2014)

The following table provides an overview of some considerations for standard RAID levels. In
each case:

Array space efficiency is given as an expression in terms of the number of

drives, ; this expression designates a fractional value between zero and
one, representing the fraction of the sum of the drives' capacities that is
available for use. For example, if three drives are arranged in RAID 3, this
gives an array space efficiency of
thus, if each drive in this example has a capacity of 250 GB, then the array
has a total capacity of 750 GB but the capacity that is usable for data storage
is only 500 GB.

Array failure rate is given as an expression in terms of the number of drives,

, and the drive failure rate, (which is assumed identical and independent
for each drive) and can be seen to be a Bernoulli trial.[citation needed] For example,
if each of three drives has a failure rate of 5% over the next three years, and
these drives are arranged in RAID 3, then this gives an array failure rate over
the next three years of:

ce Fault
ef tolera
cie nce
of d

Array failure rate[b]

Read Write
perfo perfo
rman rman

RAI witho
D 0 ut
y or


RAI ut
D 1 parit
y or






t data


1/n drive

(n1) (n1)


1/n drive

(n1) [d]



(Varie (Varie


RAI with
D 5 distri
RAI doub
D 6 le
RAI parit
D 1 y,
+0 and

1/n drive



2/n drives



2/n drive /

ce Fault
ef tolera
cie nce
of d


Array failure rate[b]


Read Write
perfo perfo
rman rman

Non-standard RAID levels and non-RAID drive architectures

Main articles: Non-standard RAID levels and Non-RAID drive architectures


Alternatives to the above designs include nested RAID levels, non-standard RAID levels, and
non-RAID drive architectures. Non-RAID drive architectures are referred to by similar
acronyms, notably SLED, Just a Bunch of Disks, SPAN/BIG, and MAID.

optical memory [ptkl memr]
(computer science)
A computer memory that uses optical techniques which generally involve an addressable laser
beam, a storage medium which responds to the beam for writing and sometimes for erasing, and
a detector which reacts to the altered character of the medium when it uses the beam to read out
stored data.
Compact disc (CD) is a digital optical disc data storage format. The format was originally
developed to store and play sound recordings only (CD-DA), but was later adapted for storage of
data (CD-ROM). Several other formats were further derived from these, including write-once
audio and data storage (CD-R), rewritable media (CD-RW), Video Compact Disc (VCD), Super
Video Compact Disc (SVCD), Photo CD, PictureCD, CD-i, and Enhanced Music CD. Audio
CDs and audio CD players have been commercially available since October 1982.
Standard CDs have a diameter of 120 millimetres (4.7 in) and can hold up to about 80 minutes of
uncompressed audio or 700 MiB (actually about 703 MiB or 737 MB) of data. The Mini CD has
various diameters ranging from 60 to 80 millimetres (2.4 to 3.1 in); they are sometimes used for
CD singles, storing up to 24 minutes of audio or delivering device drivers.
At the time of the technology's introduction, it had much greater capacity than computer hard
drives common at the time. The reverse is now true, with hard drives far exceeding the capacity
of CDs.

In 2004, worldwide sales of CD audio, CD-ROM, and CD-R reached about 30 billion discs. By
2007, 200 billion CDs had been sold worldwide.[1] Compact discs are increasingly being replaced
or supplemented by other forms of digital distribution and storage, such as downloading and
flash drives, with audio CD sales dropping nearly 50% from their peak in 2000.[2]

1 History

1.1 Digital audio optical disc prototypes

1.2 Collaboration and standardization

1.3 First Red Book CDs and players

1.4 Further development and decline

2 Physical details

2.1 Integrity

2.2 Disc shapes and diameters

3 Logical formats

3.1 Audio CD

3.2 Super Audio CD


3.4 CD-ROM

3.5 Video CD (VCD)

3.6 Super Video CD

3.7 Photo CD

3.8 CD-i

3.9 CD-i Ready

3.10 Enhanced Music CD (CD+)

3.11 Vinyl Disc

4 Manufacture

5 Writable compact discs


5.1 Recordable CD

5.2 ReWritable CD

5.2.1 Speed

6 Copy protection

7 See also

8 References

9 Further reading

10 External links


The Compact Disc is an evolution of LaserDisc technology. Prototypes were developed by

Philips and Sony independently from the mid-to-late 1970s.[3] The two companies then
collaborated to produce a standard format and related player technology which was made
commercially available in 1982.
Digital audio optical disc prototypes
American inventor James T. Russell has been credited with inventing the first system to record
audio digitally on an optical disc. Russell's patent application was first filed in 1966 and he was
granted a patent in 1970. Following litigation, Sony and Philips licensed Russell's patents (then
held by a Canadian company, Optical Recording Corp.) in the 1980s.[4][5][6]
In 1974, an initiative was taken by L. Ottens, a director of the audio industry group within the
Philips Technology Corporation in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. A seven-person project group
was formed to develop an optical audio disc with a diameter of 20 cm with a sound quality
superior to that of the large and fragile vinyl record.[7] In March 1974, during a meeting of the
audio group, two engineers from the Philips research laboratory recommended the use of a
digital format on the 20 cm optical disc, because an error-correcting code could be added.[7] It
was not until 1977 that the directors of the group decided to establish a laboratory with the
mission of creating a small optical digital audio disc and a small player. They chose the term
"compact disc" in line with another Philips product, the compact cassette.[7] Rather than the
original 20 cm size, the diameter of this compact disc was set at 11.5 cm, the diagonal
measurement of a compact cassette.[7]

Meanwhile, Sony first publicly demonstrated an optical digital audio disc in September 1976. In
September 1978, the company demonstrated an optical digital audio disc with a 150 minute
playing time, 44,056 Hz sampling rate, 16-bit linear resolution, and cross-interleaved error
correction codespecifications similar to those later settled upon for the standard Compact Disc
format in 1980. Technical details of Sony's digital audio disc were presented during the 62nd
AES Convention, held on March 1316, 1979, in Brussels.[8] Just before that, on March 8, 1979
Philips publicly demonstrated a prototype of an optical digital audio disc at a press conference
called "Philips Introduce Compact Disc"[9] in Eindhoven, Netherlands.[10] Thirty years later, on
March 6, 2009, Philips received an IEEE Milestone award with the following citation: "On 8
March 1979, N.V. Philips' Gloeilampenfabrieken demonstrated for the international press a
Compact Disc Audio Player. The demonstration showed that it is possible by using digital optical
recording and playback to reproduce audio signals with superb stereo quality. This research at
Philips established the technical standard for digital optical recording systems."[11]
Sony executive Norio Ohga, who later became the CEO and chairman of Sony, was convinced of
the format's commercial potential and pushed further development despite widespread
Collaboration and standardization
Later in 1979, Sony and Philips set up a joint task force of engineers to design a new digital
audio disc. Led by Kees Schouhamer Immink and Toshitada Doi, the research pushed forward
laser and optical disc technology that began independently by the two companies.[9] After a year
of experimentation and discussion, the task force produced the Red Book CD-DA standard. First
published in 1980, the standard was formally adopted by the IEC as an international standard in
1987, with various amendments becoming part of the standard in 1996.
Philips contributed the general manufacturing process, based on video LaserDisc technology.
Philips also contributed eight-to-fourteen modulation (EFM), which offers a certain resilience to
defects such as scratches and fingerprints, while Sony contributed the error-correction method,
The Compact Disc Story,[13] told by a former member of the taskforce, gives background
information on the many technical decisions made, including the choice of the sampling
frequency, playing time, and disc diameter. The task force consisted of around four to eight
persons,[14][15] though according to Philips, the Compact Disc was "invented collectively by a
large group of people working as a team."[16]
First Red Book CDs and players
Philips established the Polydor Pressing Operations plant in Langenhagen near Hannover,
Germany, and quickly passed a series of milestones.

The first test pressing was of a recording of Richard Strauss's Eine

Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony), played by the Berlin Philharmonic and

conducted by Herbert von Karajan, who had been enlisted as an ambassador

for the format in 1979.[17]

The first public demonstration was on the BBC television program Tomorrow's
World in 1981, when The Bee Gees' album Living Eyes (1981) was played.[18]

The first commercial compact disc was produced on 17 August 1982. It was a
recording from 1979 of Claudio Arrau performing Chopin waltzes (Philips 400
025-2). Arrau was invited to the Langenhagen plant to press the start button.

The first popular music CD produced at the new factory was The Visitors
(1981) by ABBA.[19]

The first album to be released on CD was Billy Joel's 52nd Street, which
reached the market alongside Sony's CDP-101 CD player on 1 October 1982
in Japan.[20]

The Japanese launch was followed in March 1983 by the introduction of CD players and discs to
Europe,[21] and North America (where CBS Records released sixteen titles).[22] This event is often
seen as the "Big Bang" of the digital audio revolution. The new audio disc was enthusiastically
received, especially in the early-adopting classical music and audiophile communities, and its
handling quality received particular praise. As the price of players gradually came down, the CD
began to gain popularity in the larger popular and rock music markets. The first artist to sell a
million copies on CD was Dire Straits, with its 1985 album Brothers in Arms.[23] The first major
artist to have his entire catalogue converted to CD was David Bowie, whose 15 studio albums
were made available by RCA Records in February 1985, along with four Greatest Hits albums.[24]
In 1988, 400 million CDs were manufactured by 50 pressing plants around the world.[25]
Further development and decline
The CD was planned to be the successor of the gramophone record for playing music, rather than
primarily as a data storage medium. From its origins as a musical format, CDs have grown to
encompass other applications. In June 1985, the computer-readable CD-ROM (read-only
memory) and, in 1990, CD-Recordable were introduced, also developed by both Sony and
Philips.[26] Recordable CDs are an alternative to tape for recording music and copying music
albums without defects introduced in compression used in other digital recording methods. Other
newer video formats such as DVD and Blu-ray use the same physical geometry as CD, and most
DVD and Blu-ray players are backward compatible with Audio CD.
By the early 2000s, the CD had largely replaced the audio cassette player as standard equipment
in new automobiles, with 2010 being the final model year for any car in the US to have a factoryequipped cassette player.[27] With the increasing popularity of portable digital audio players and
solid state music storage, CD players are being phased out of automobiles in favor of minijack
auxiliary inputs and connections to USB devices.

Meanwhile, with the advent and popularity of digital audio formats, such as the 256 kbit m4a,
sales of CDs began dropping in the 2000s. For example, during the eight-year period ending in
2008, despite overall growth in music sales and one anomalous year of increase, major-label CD
sales declined overall by 20% [28] although independent and DIY music sales may be tracking
better according to figures released March 30, 2009 and CDs still continue to sell greatly.[29]
Physical details

Diagram of CD layers.
A. A polycarbonate disc layer has the data encoded by using bumps.
B. A shiny layer reflects the laser.
C. A layer of lacquer protects the shiny layer.
D. Artwork is screen printed on the top of the disc.
E. A laser beam reads the CD and is reflected back to a sensor, which converts it
into electronic data

A CD is made from 1.2 millimetres (0.047 in) thick, polycarbonate plastic and weighs 15
20 grams.[30] From the center outward, components are: the center spindle hole (15 mm), the
first-transition area (clamping ring), the clamping area (stacking ring), the second-transition area
(mirror band), the program (data) area, and the rim. The inner program area occupies a radius
from 25 to 58 mm.
A thin layer of aluminium or, more rarely, gold is applied to the surface making it reflective. The
metal is protected by a film of lacquer normally spin coated directly on the reflective layer. The
label is printed on the lacquer layer, usually by screen printing or offset printing.
CD data is represented as tiny indentations known as "pits", encoded in a spiral track moulded
into the top of the polycarbonate layer. The areas between pits are known as "lands". Each pit is
approximately 100 nm deep by 500 nm wide, and varies from 850 nm to 3.5 m in length. The
distance between the tracks, the pitch, is 1.5 m.

Scanning velocity is 1.21.4 m/s (constant linear velocity) equivalent to approximately 500
RPM at the inside of the disc, and approximately 200 RPM at the outside edge. (A disc played
from beginning to end slows its rotation rate during playback.)

Comparison of various optical storage media

The program area is 86.05 cm2 and the length of the recordable spiral is
(86.05 cm2 / 1.6 m) = 5.38 km. With a scanning speed of 1.2 m/s, the playing time is 74
minutes, or 650 MB of data on a CD-ROM. A disc with data packed slightly more densely is
tolerated by most players (though some old ones fail). Using a linear velocity of 1.2 m/s and a
narrower track pitch of 1.5 m increases the playing time to 80 minutes, and data capacity to
700 MB.

The pits in a CD are 500 nm wide, between 830 nm and 3,000 nm long and 150 nm

A CD is read by focusing a 780 nm wavelength (near infrared) semiconductor laser through the
bottom of the polycarbonate layer. The change in height between pits and lands results in a
difference in the way the light is reflected. By measuring the intensity change with a photodiode,
the data can be read from the disc.
The pits and lands themselves do not directly represent the zeros and ones of binary data.
Instead, non-return-to-zero, inverted encoding is used: a change from pit to land or land to pit
indicates a one, while no change indicates a series of zeros. There must be at least two and no
more than ten zeros between each one, which is defined by the length of the pit. This in turn is

decoded by reversing the eight-to-fourteen modulation used in mastering the disc, and then
reversing the cross-interleaved ReedSolomon coding, finally revealing the raw data stored on
the disc. These encoding techniques (defined in the Red Book) were originally designed for the
CD Digital Audio, but they later became a standard for almost all CD formats (such as CDROM).
CDs are susceptible to damage during handling and from environmental exposure. Pits are much
closer to the label side of a disc, enabling defects and contaminants on the clear side to be out of
focus during playback. Consequently, CDs are more likely to suffer damage on the label side of
the disc. Scratches on the clear side can be repaired by refilling them with similar refractive
plastic, or by careful polishing. The edges of CDs are sometimes incompletely sealed, allowing
gases and liquids to corrode the metal reflective layer and to interfere with the focus of the laser
on the pits.[31] The fungus Geotrichum candidum, found in Belize, has been found to consume the
polycarbonate plastic and aluminium found in CDs.[32][33]
Disc shapes and diameters

Comparison of several forms of disk storage showing tracks (not-to-scale); green

denotes start and red denotes end.
* Some CD-R(W) and DVD-R(W)/DVD+R(W) recorders operate in ZCLV, CAA or CAV

The digital data on a CD begins at the center of the disc and proceeds toward the edge, which
allows adaptation to the different size formats available. Standard CDs are available in two sizes.
By far, the most common is 120 millimetres (4.7 in) in diameter, with a 74- or 80-minute audio
capacity and a 650 or 700 MB (737,280,000 bytes) data capacity. This capacity was reportedly
specified by Sony executive Norio Ohga so as to be able to contain the entirety of London

Philharmonic Orchestra's recording of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony on one disc.[12] This

diameter has been adopted by subsequent formats, including Super Audio CD, DVD, HD DVD,
and Blu-ray Disc. 80 mm discs ("Mini CDs") were originally designed for CD singles and can
hold up to 24 minutes of music or 210 MB of data but never became popular.[citation needed] Today,
nearly every single is released on a 120 mm CD, called a Maxi single.[citation needed]
The hole in the middle of the disc is exactly the size of a Dubbeltje the 10 cent piece of the
Dutch_guilder. The team designing the disk at philips used it in their prototype and it was never
Novelty CDs are also available in numerous shapes and sizes, and are used chiefly for marketing.
A common variant is the "business card" CD, a single with portions removed at the top and
bottom making the disk resemble a business card.
Physical size




120 mm

7480 min

650700 MB

Standard size

80 mm

2124 min

185210 MB

Mini-CD size

10-65 MB

"Business card" size

80x54 mm 80x64 mm ~6 min

Logical formats

Audio CD
Main article: Compact Disc Digital Audio

The logical format of an audio CD (officially Compact Disc Digital Audio or CD-DA) is
described in a document produced in 1980 by the format's joint creators, Sony and Philips. The
document is known colloquially as the Red Book CD-DA after the color of its cover. The format
is a two-channel 16-bit PCM encoding at a 44.1 kHz sampling rate per channel. Four-channel
sound was to be an allowable option within the Red Book format, but has never been
implemented. Monaural audio has no existing standard on a Red Book CD; mono-source material
thus is usually presented as two identical channels in a standard Red Book stereo track (i.e.
mirrored mono); an MP3 CD, however, can have audio file formats with mono sound.
CD-Text is an extension of the Red Book specification for audio CD that allows for storage of
additional text information (e.g., album name, song name, artist) on a standards-compliant audio
CD. The information is stored either in the lead-in area of the CD, where there is roughly five
kilobytes of space available, or in the subcode channels R to W on the disc, which can store
about 31 megabytes.
Compact Disc + Graphics is a special audio compact disc that contains graphics data in addition
to the audio data on the disc. The disc can be played on a regular audio CD player, but when
played on a special CD+G player, can output a graphics signal (typically, the CD+G player is
hooked up to a television set or a computer monitor); these graphics are almost exclusively used

to display lyrics on a television set for karaoke performers to sing along with. The CD+G format
takes advantage of the channels R through W. These six bits store the graphics information.
CD + Extended Graphics (CD+EG, also known as CD+XG) is an improved variant of the
Compact Disc + Graphics (CD+G) format. Like CD+G, CD+EG utilizes basic CD-ROM
features to display text and video information in addition to the music being played. This extra
data is stored in subcode channels R-W. Very few, if any, CD+EG discs have been published.
Super Audio CD
Main article: Super Audio CD

Super Audio CD (SACD) is a high-resolution read-only optical audio disc format that was
designed to provide higher fidelity digital audio reproduction than the Red Book. Introduced in
1999, it was developed by Sony and Philips, the same companies that created the Red Book.
SACD was in a format war with DVD-Audio, but neither has replaced audio CDs. The SACD
standard is referred to the Scarlet Book standard.
Titles in the SACD format can be issued as hybrid discs; these discs contain the SACD audio
stream as well as a standard audio CD layer which is playable in standard CD players, thus
making them backward compatible.
CD-MIDI is a format used to store music-performance data which upon playback is performed
by electronic instruments that synthesize the audio. Hence, unlike the original Red Book CD-DA,
these recordings are not digitally sampled audio recordings. The CD-MIDI format is defined as
an extension to the original Red Book.
Main article: CD-ROM

For the first few years of its existence, the CD was a medium used purely for audio. However, in
1985 the Yellow Book CD-ROM standard was established by Sony and Philips, which defined a
non-volatile optical data computer data storage medium using the same physical format as audio
compact discs, readable by a computer with a CD-ROM drive.
Video CD (VCD)
Main article: Video CD

Video CD (VCD, View CD, and Compact Disc digital video) is a standard digital format for
storing video media on a CD. VCDs are playable in dedicated VCD players, most modern DVDVideo players, personal computers, and some video game consoles.
The VCD standard was created in 1993 by Sony, Philips, Matsushita, and JVC and is referred to
as the White Book standard.

Overall picture quality is intended to be comparable to VHS video. Poorly compressed VCD
video can sometimes be lower quality than VHS video, but VCD exhibits block artifacts rather
than analog noise, and does not deteriorate further with each use, which may be preferable.
352x240 (or SIF) resolution was chosen because it is half the vertical, and half the horizontal
resolution of NTSC video. 352x288 is similarly one quarter PAL/SECAM resolution. This
approximates the (overall) resolution of an analog VHS tape, which, although it has double the
number of (vertical) scan lines, has a much lower horizontal resolution.
Super Video CD
Main article: Super Video CD

Super Video CD (Super Video Compact Disc or SVCD) is a format used for storing video media
on standard compact discs. SVCD was intended as a successor to VCD and an alternative to
DVD-Video, and falls somewhere between both in terms of technical capability and picture
SVCD has two-thirds the resolution of DVD, and over 2.7 times the resolution of VCD. One
CD-R disc can hold up to 60 minutes of standard quality SVCD-format video. While no specific
limit on SVCD video length is mandated by the specification, one must lower the video bit rate,
and therefore quality, to accommodate very long videos. It is usually difficult to fit much more
than 100 minutes of video onto one SVCD without incurring significant quality loss, and many
hardware players are unable to play video with an instantaneous bit rate lower than 300 to 600
kilobits per second.
Photo CD
Main article: Photo CD

Photo CD is a system designed by Kodak for digitizing and storing photos on a CD. Launched in
1992, the discs were designed to hold nearly 100 high quality images, scanned prints and slides
using special proprietary encoding. Photo CDs are defined in the Beige Book and conform to the
CD-ROM XA and CD-i Bridge specifications as well. They are intended to play on CD-i players,
Photo CD players and any computer with the suitable software irrespective of the operating
system. The images can also be printed out on photographic paper with a special Kodak machine.
This format is not to be confused with Kodak Picture CD, which is a consumer product in CDROM format.
Main article: Philips CD-i

The Philips Green Book specifies a standard for interactive multimedia compact discs designed
for CD-i players (1993). CD-i discs can contain audio tracks which can be played on regular CD
players, but CD-i discs are not compatible with most CD-ROM drives and software. The CD-i
Ready specification was later created to improve compatibility with audio CD players, and the

CD-i Bridge specification was added to create CD-i compatible discs than can be accessed by
regular CD-ROM drives.
CD-i Ready
Main article: CD-i Ready

Philips defined a format similar to CD-i called CD-i Ready, which puts CD-i software and data
into the pregap of track 1. This format was supposed to be more compatible with older audio CD
Enhanced Music CD (CD+)
Main article: Blue Book (CD standard)

Enhanced Music CD, also known as CD Extra and CD Plus, is a format which combines audio
tracks and data tracks on the same disc by putting audio tracks in a first session and data in a
second session. It was developed by Philips and Sony and it is defined in the Blue Book.
Vinyl Disc
Main article: VinylDisc

Vinyl Disc is the hybrid of a standard Audio CD and the vinyl record. The vinyl layer on the
disc's label side can hold approximately three minutes of music.
Main article: CD manufacturing

Individual pits are visible on the micrometre scale

Replicated CDs are mass-produced initially using a hydraulic press. Small granules of heated
raw polycarbonate plastic are fed into the press. A screw forces the liquefied plastic into the mold
cavity. The mold closes with a metal stamper in contact with the disc surface. The plastic is
allowed to cool and harden. Once opened, the disc substrate is removed from the mold by a
robotic arm, and a 15 mm diameter center hole (called a stacking ring) is created. The time it
takes to "stamp" one CD, is usually 2 to 3 seconds.
This method produces the clear plastic blank part of the disc. After a metallic reflecting layer
(usually aluminium, but sometimes gold or other metal) is applied to the clear blank substrate,
the disc goes under a UV light for curing and it is ready to go to press. To prepare to press a CD,
a glass master is made, using a high-powered laser on a device similar to a CD writer. The glass
master is a positive image of the desired CD surface (with the desired microscopic pits and
lands). After testing, it is used to make a die by pressing it against a metal disc.
The die is a negative image of the glass master: typically, several are made, depending on the
number of pressing mills that are to make the CD. The die then goes into a press and the physical
image is transferred to the blank CD, leaving a final positive image on the disc. A small amount
of lacquer is applied as a ring around the center of the disc, and rapid spinning spreads it evenly

over the surface. Edge protection lacquer is applied before the disc is finished. The disc can then
be printed and packed.
Manufactured CDs that are sold in stores are sealed via a process called "polywrapping" or
shrink wrapping.
The most expensive part of a CD is the jewel case. In 1995, material costs were 30 cents for the
jewel case and 10 to 15 cents for the CD. Wholesale cost of CDs was $0.75 to $1.15, which
retailed for $16.98.[34] On average the store received 35 percent of the retail price, the record
company 27 percent, the artist 16 percent, the manufacturer 13 percent, and the distributor 9
percent.[34] When 8-track tapes, cassette tapes, and CDs were introduced, each was marketed at a
higher price than the format they succeeded, even though the cost to produce the media was
reduced. This was done because the apparent value increased. This continued from vinyl to CDs
but was broken when Apple marketed MP3s for $0.99, and albums for $9.99. The incremental
cost, though, to produce an MP3 is infinitely small.[35]
Writable compact discs

Recordable CD

700 MB CD-R next to a mechanical pencil

Main article: CD-R

Recordable Compact Discs, CD-Rs, are injection molded with a "blank" data spiral. A
photosensitive dye is then applied, after which the discs are metalized and lacquer-coated. The
write laser of the CD recorder changes the color of the dye to allow the read laser of a standard
CD player to see the data, just as it would with a standard stamped disc. The resulting discs can
be read by most CD-ROM drives and played in most audio CD players. CD-Rs follow the
Orange Book standard.
CD-R recordings are designed to be permanent. Over time the dye's physical characteristics may
change, however, causing read errors and data loss until the reading device cannot recover with

error correction methods. The design life is from 20 to 100 years, depending on the quality of the
discs, the quality of the writing drive, and storage conditions. However, testing has demonstrated
such degradation of some discs in as little as 18 months under normal storage conditions.[36][37]
This failure is known as disc rot, for which there are several, mostly environmental, reasons.[31]
The recordable audio CD is designed to be used in a consumer audio CD recorder. These
consumer audio CD recorders use SCMS (Serial Copy Management System), an early form of
digital rights management (DRM), to conform to the AHRA (Audio Home Recording Act). The
Recordable Audio CD is typically somewhat more expensive than CD-R due to lower production
volume and a 3% AHRA royalty used to compensate the music industry for the making of a
High-capacity recordable CD is a higher density recording format that can hold 90 or 99 minutes
of audio on a 12 cm (5 in) disc (compared to about 80 minutes for Red Book audio), or 30
minutes of audio on an 8 cm (3 in) disc (compared to about 24 minutes for Red Book audio).[39]
The higher capacity is incompatible with some recorders and recording software.[40]
ReWritable CD
Main article: CD-RW

CD-RW is a re-recordable medium that uses a metallic alloy instead of a dye. The write laser in
this case is used to heat and alter the properties (amorphous vs. crystalline) of the alloy, and
hence change its reflectivity. A CD-RW does not have as great a difference in reflectivity as a
pressed CD or a CD-R, and so many earlier CD audio players cannot read CD-RW discs,
although most later CD audio players and stand-alone DVD players can. CD-RWs follow the
Orange Book standard.
The ReWritable Audio CD is designed to be used in a consumer audio CD recorder, which won't
(without modification) accept standard CD-RW discs. These consumer audio CD recorders use
the Serial Copy Management System (SCMS), an early form of digital rights management
(DRM), to conform to the United States' Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA). The ReWritable
Audio CD is typically somewhat more expensive than CD-RW due to (a) lower volume and (b) a
3% AHRA royalty used to compensate the music industry for the making of a copy.[38]

Due to technical limitations, the original ReWritable CD could be written no faster than 4x
speed. High Speed ReWritable CD has a different design that permits writing at speeds ranging
from 4x to 12x. Original CD-RW drives can only write to original ReWritable CDs. High Speed
CD-RW drives can typically write to both original ReWritable CDs and High Speed ReWritable
CDs. Both types of CD-RW discs can be read in most CD drives. Higher speed CD-RW discs,
Ultra Speed (16x to 24x write speed) and Ultra Speed+ (32x write speed), are now available.
Copy protection
Main article: CD/DVD copy protection

The Red Book audio specification, except for a simple 'anti-copy' statement in the subcode, does
not include any copy protection mechanism. Known at least as early as 2001,[41] attempts were
made by record companies to market "copy-protected" non-standard compact discs, which
cannot be ripped, or copied, to hard drives or easily converted to MP3s. One major drawback to
these copy-protected discs is that most will not play on either computer CD-ROM drives, or
some standalone CD players that use CD-ROM mechanisms. Philips has stated that such discs
are not permitted to bear the trademarked Compact Disc Digital Audio logo because they violate
the Red Book specifications. Numerous copy-protection systems have been countered by readily
available, often free, software.
DVD (sometimes explained as "digital video disc" or "digital versatile disc"[5][6]) is a digital
optical disc storage format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in
1995. DVDs can be played in many types of players, including DVD players. DVDs offer higher
storage capacity than compact discs while having the same dimensions.
Pre-recorded DVDs are mass-produced using molding machines that physically stamp data onto
the DVD. Such discs are known as DVD-ROM, because data can only be read and not written or
erased. Blank recordable DVD discs (DVD-R and DVD+R) can be recorded once using a DVD
recorder and then function as a DVD-ROM. Rewritable DVDs (DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and
DVD-RAM) can be recorded and erased multiple times.
DVDs are used in DVD-Video consumer digital video format and in DVD-Audio consumer
digital audio format, as well as for authoring DVD discs written in a special AVCHD format to
hold high definition material (often in conjunction with AVCHD format camcorders). DVDs
containing other types of information may be referred to as DVD data discs.
The High definition optical disc format war was between the Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD
optical disc standards for storing high definition video and audio; it took place between 2006 and
2008 and was won by Blu-ray Disc.[1]
The two formats emerged between 2000 and 2003 and attracted both the mutual and exclusive
support of major consumer electronics manufacturers, personal computer manufacturers,
television and movie producers and distributors, and software developers.[1]
Blu-ray and HD DVD players became commercially available starting in 2006. In early 2008, the
war was decided when several studios and distributors shifted to Blu-ray disc.[1] On February 19,
2008, Toshiba officially announced that it would stop the development of the HD DVD players,
conceding the format war to the Blu-ray Disc format.[2]