phase change disc - Computer Definition
A rewritable optical disc. First used in drives by Panasonic in the late 1980s, the phase change technology was subsequently employed in all major optical drives, including CD-RW, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, UDO and Blu-ray. The phase change disc technology was invented by Stanford Ovshinsky, who founded Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) in 1960. Pure Optical Phase change discs do not rely on magnetic influence as do hard disks and magneto-optic (MO) discs. In rewritable phase change media, the heat from a short, high-intensity laser pulse turns a bit in the recording layer into an unstructured "amorphous" state, and a medium-intensity pulse sets it to a highly structured "crystalline" state. The two states (0 and 1) cause a change in reflectivity, which is sensed when reading the disc. In "write-once" phase change drives, such as UDO, the media starts out amorphous, and bits are written by turning them crystalline. Once changed, the makeup of the media prevents the bit from being turned back to amorphous. See UDO, optical disc, PD disc and phase change memory.