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Last Updated: Monday, 19 April, 2004, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
Paper DVDs on the horizon
Paper Blu-ray disc
The paper discs can hold 25 gigabytes of information
A paper disc that can hold up to five times more data than current DVDs has been developed by Sony and another Japanese company.

The disc is 51% paper and could offer foolproof security, said officials.

"Since a paper disc can be cut by scissors easily, it is simple to preserve data security when disposing of the disc," said Hideaki Kawai of Toppan, which worked with Sony.

It is not yet clear when the technology will be commercially available.

Next-generation DVDs

The disc is based on blue-laser DVD research, one of the technologies that could replace the current generation of red-laser DVD players.

Blu-ray discs can hold around 25 gigabytes of information, compared to the current limit of 4.7 gigabytes for a standard DVD.

A consortium of leading electronics manufacturers such as Sony, Philips, Hitachi and Samsung are developing the technology.

They hope it will become the standard format for the multimillion dollar DVD industry.

According to Sony, researchers were able to make a paper disc as Blu-ray technology does not require laser light to travel through a key layer of a disc called the substrate.

The paper discs are also expected to be cheaper to produce than current DVDs.

Both Sony and Toppan said they were looking at practical uses for the paper discs, but that no decision had been made on when they would be in the shops.

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