Panasonic will debut the drive, only 0.37 of an inch thick, next month at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Panasonic has started shipping samples of an ultra-thin Blu-ray disc drive for lightweight notebooks.
The consumer electronics maker said in a statement released Wednesday in Japan that the built-in optical drive, which is 0.37 of an inch thick, will be shown Jan. 7 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Previously, Panasonic's thinnest Blu-ray disc drive was a half-inch thick.
The new drive is capable of reading and burning high-definition DVDs in the Blu-ray format. It also supports reading and writing standard DVDs and CDs, and can store 50 Gbytes of content.
Panasonic has slimmed down a standard DVD disc drive to 0.28 of an inch thick. Toshiba has said that it plans to release an equally thin drive for reading and writing DVDs in the HD DVD format, which competes with Blu-ray.
Ultra-thin disk drives make it possible for notebook makers to build even lighter and slimmer products. The drives could also find a place in even small ultra-mobile PCs.
Panasonic has other Blu-ray disc drives. Last summer, the company became one of the first to introduce a drive with a 4x writing speed. The latest drive is 2x.
Toshiba this month released the first notebook with a rewritable HD DVD drive, which could be used to transfer recorded TV shows or video taken with a high-definition camera onto a DVD for archiving. The Qosmio Series 2 comes in 17- and 15.4-inch models, and is capable of receiving two TV channels simultaneously, so people can watch one show while recording the other. Pricing for the notebooks starts at about $2,600.
HD DVD, supported by Microsoft and Toshiba, competes with Blu-ray, a format whose major supporters include Sony. The latter company ships a Blu-ray disc player in the PlayStation 3 video game console.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Infographic: The State of DevOps in 2017Is DevOps helping organizations reduce costs and time-to-market for software releases? What's getting in the way of DevOps adoption? Find out in this InformationWeek and Interop ITX infographic on the state of DevOps in 2017.
2017 State of IT ReportIn today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.