Optical Disk

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With every new application and software there is greater demand for memory capacity. It is the necessity to store large volume of data that has led to the development of optical disk storage medium. Optical disks can be divided into the following categories:
1.Compact Disk/ Read Only Memory (CD-ROM): CD-ROM disks are made of reflective metals. CD-ROM is written during the process of manufacturing by high power laser beam. Here the storage density is very high, storage cost is very low and access time is relatively fast. Each disk is approximately 4 1/2 inches in diameter and can hold over 600 MB of data. As the CD-ROM can be read only we cannot write or make changes into the data contained in it.
2.Write Once, Read Many (WORM): The inconvenience that we can not write any thing in to a CD-ROM is avoided in WORM. A WORM allows the user to write data permanently on to the disk. Once the data is written it can never be erased without physically damaging the disk. Here data can be recorded from keyboard, video scanner, OCR equipment and other devices. The advantage of WORM is that it can store vast amount of data amounting to gigabytes (109 bytes). Any document in a WORM can be accessed very fast, say less than 30 seconds.
3.Erasable Optical Disk: These are optical disks where data can be written, erased and re-written. This also applies a laser beam to write and re-write the data. These disks may be used as alternatives to traditional disks. Erasable optical disks are based on a technology known as magnetic optical (MO). To write a data bit on to the erasable optical disk the MO drive’s laser beam heats a tiny, precisely defined point on the disk’s surface and magnetises it.

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