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Ricoh has an optical readout for CD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD with one lens
At InterOpto’07, Ricoh showcased an optical device called the Multiple Format Compatible Plate (MFCP). Installed in the reader unit of the drive, the novelty is able to provide playback of optical discs of several formats (more precisely, four – CD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD) using one lens.
Usually, designers of universal drives are forced to install two lenses in the optical system of the readhead: one for CD / DVD, and the other for Blu-ray Disc and / or HD DVD. Installing an MFCP in front of the lens eliminates this need by reducing the number of optics and reducing the size of the head.
Ricoh’s development is presented in the form of three products. One of them supports all four formats (CD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD), the second – three (CD, DVD and Blu-ray Disc or CD, DVD and HD DVD), the third – two (Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD).
The last named product has been shown as a finished product for Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD optical drives. It is designed to fit in front of the lens for Blu-ray Disc. According to the company, such a solution will be in demand, since the clear leader among the new generation of optical formats has not yet been determined, and consumers are ready to rely on versatility.
The principle of operation of the device is based on the phenomenon of laser beam diffraction. Diffraction occurs when light passes through a plate with embossed concentric rings. For example, in the case of Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD, the entire stream is used to play the first of these, and only a part of it is used for the second.
Currently, the device is only suitable for devices designed for reading discs. As for the price, the company promises that it will not exceed one dollar.