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A Compact Disc

A Compact Disc (or CD) is an optical disc used to store digital data, originally developed for storing digital audio. The CD, available on the market since late 1982, remains the standard playback medium for commercial audio recordings to the present day.

Standard CDs have a diameter of 120 mm and can hold up to 80 minutes of audio. There is also the Mini CD, with diameters ranging from 60 to 80 mm; they are sometimes used for CD singles, storing up to 24 minutes of audio.

The technology was later adapted and expanded to include data storage (CD-ROM), write-once audio and data storage (CD-R), rewritable media (CD-RW), SACD, VCD, SVCD, PhotoCD, PictureCD, CD-i, and Enhanced CD. CD-ROMs and CD-Rs remain widely used technologies in the computer industry.

Compact Disc is made from a 1.2 mm thick disc of almost pure polycarbonate plastic and weighs approximately 16 grams. A thin layer of aluminium or, more rarely, gold is applied to the surface to make it reflective, and is protected by a film of lacquer. The lacquer is normally spin coated directly on top of the reflective layer. On top of that surface, the label print is applied. Common printing methods for CDs are screen-printing and offset printing.

CD data is stored as a series of tiny indentations (pits), encoded in a tightly packed spiral track molded 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 μm in length.

The spacing between the tracks, the pitch, is 1.6 μm. 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 intensity in the light reflected. By measuring the intensity change with a photodiode, the data can be read from the disc.


Date: 2015-04-20; view: 641

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