CD and Data Storage Technology

Figure 1
Optical storage techniques make use of the pinpoint precision possible only with laser beams. Alaser uses a concentrated, narrow beam of light, focused and directed with lenses, prisms, and mirrors. The tight focus of the laser beam is possible because the light is all the same wavelength.


There are two common types of optical technology. The most widely us3ed type is compact disk (CD) technology, which is used in CD-ROM, WORM, PhotoCD, and CD-Recordable. The other type, is a hybrid that combines magnetic and optical technology. These devices are known as magno-optical drives.

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The familiar audio compact disk is a popular medium for storing music. In the computer world, however, the medium is called compact disk, read-only memory (CD-ROM). CD-ROM uses the same technology used to produce music CDs. In fact, if you have a sound card and speakers connected to your computer, you can play CDs with your PC.


The CD-ROM drive for music or data reads )s and 1s off a spinning disk by focusing a laser on the disk’s surface.

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