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ISO Adopts Ecma UDO™ Media Format Standard

ECMA-350 finishes fast-track standardisation as ISO/IEC 17345


Press Contact
Martin Jacklin
Ecma Media Relations
Industry Contact
Jan W. van den Beld
Ecma Secretary-General
Press Release in pdf-format

Geneva, 6 September 2004:

Geneva, Switzerland and Melbourn, UK – 6 September, 2004 – Ecma International, the industry association dedicated to the standardisation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems and Plasmon (LSE: PLM), the market leader for professional data archival solutions, today jointly announced that the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) officially adopted ECMA-350, the UDO™ (Ultra Density Optical) Media Format Standard published last December. The new certified standard, which is known as ISO/IEC 17345, specifies the mechanical, physical and optical characteristics of Rewritable and true Write Once, 30GB UDO media. UDO is the only blue laser optical storage format to receive ISO/IEC approval, marking another major milestone in the acceptance of UDO as an industry recognised technology standard.

ISO/IEC 17345 progressed from Draft International Standard (DIS) to International Standard (IS) in just five months. Standard ECMA-350, approved in December 2003 by the Ecma General Assembly, was submitted to ISO/IEC in February 2004 for adoption under the “Fast-Track” procedure. The ballot concluded in July 2004 and the voting results revealed that the UDO standard was approved unanimously by all members in the 28 countries represented.

“The adoption by ISO/IEC of the UDO standard first published by Ecma International is another example of market-driven standardisation which is highly relevant for the users of products based on international high-quality standards. Plasmon is to be congratulated on developing the new world standard in optical disk technology for the data storage market” said Jan van den Beld, Secretary General of Ecma International.

“We are delighted that ISO/IEC has recognised UDO as an official international standard,” said
Dr. Robert Longman, Engineering Director at Plasmon. “Having a fully documented and open international standard is particularly significant since companies are using UDO to archive digital records for many years. The ISO standard provides assurance for those companies investing in the technology and defines a frame for backward compatible future UDO generations offering 60GB and 120GB capacities.” He continues, “Ecma International, ISO and IEC are three of the world’s most trusted technical standards organisations so we are confident that the release of ISO/IEC 17345 will be very well received by the storage industry”.

Ecma Standard 350 was developed by TC31, the Ecma Technical Committee created in 1984 for the standardisation of optical disks and optical disk cartridges. Technical Committee TC31 benefits from particularly broad industry representation, with members from companies such as Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard, Hitachi, IBM, JVC, Le Carvennec Consultants, Mitsubishi, NEC, Panasonic/Matsushita, Philips, Pioneer, Plasmon, Ricoh, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba. ECMA-350 was published in December 2003 and includes all technical contents for the UDO Media Format Standard. It can be downloaded free of charge in Acrobat PDF from the Ecma website (

ISO/IEC 17345 will be published in autumn 2004 and the publication will be made available online at that time.

About UDO

Designed for organisations seeking secure retention of important information, UDO succeeds
5.25 inch MO (Magneto Optical) technology as the new professional optical storage standard. UDO breaks the mould for optical storage solutions with increased storage capacity and dramatically lower archival storage costs.

UDO features blue lasers for recording rather than the red lasers used in previous optical drives such as MO and DVD. Blue lasers achieve far greater data densities, resulting in dramatically higher media capacities. First generation UDO products have a capacity of 30GB, with a roadmap extending to 120GB by the third generation. The densities achieved through blue lasers allow UDO to be priced at $2.00/GB in the first generation, one-fifth the price of MO media.

UDO media is packaged in an ISO standard 5.25 inch cartridge, allowing UDO and MO media to be supported in the same libraries, and reducing the cost of existing media migration. Future UDO drives will be backward read-compatible, minimising future media migration expense.

The Phase Change recording technology used by UDO is field-proven and highly stable. With absolute authenticity and a media life of 50+ years, UDO meets the most demanding requirements of regulatory agencies and other authorities for the secure, long-term storage of information.

More information about UDO can be found on or on the Plasmon website

About Ecma International

Since its inception in 1961, Ecma International (Ecma) has developed standards for information and communication technology (ICT) and consumer electronics (CE). Ecma is a not-for-profit industry association of technology developers, vendors and users. Industry and other experts work together in Ecma to complete standards. Ecma submits the approved work for approval as ISO, ISO/IEC and ETSI standards.

Ecma is the inventor and main practitioner of "fast tracking" of specifications through the standardisation process in Global Standards Bodies like the ISO. In ISO/IEC JTC 1, Ecma has the status of an A-liaison, equivalent to a national body without voting rights. Since the start of fast-tracking in 1987, over 200 (more than 80%) of the total number of proposals for fast-track processing have come from Ecma International, and have been approved.

Main areas of standardisation include: Scripting and programming languages; Optical and Magnetic storage media; High speed interconnects; Universal 3D format; Safety, Environmental, Acoustical and Electromagnetic product attributes; Enterprise and Proximity Communication and Networking; and File and Volume structures. Publications can be downloaded free of charge from

About Plasmon

Plasmon is a leader in professional data storage solutions, providing the industry’s most comprehensive line of optical drives and media, optical and tape libraries, and NAS / SAN storage networking solutions. Customers include corporations, institutions and government agencies worldwide and are backed by a global service and support network. Founded in 1985, Plasmon is listed on the London Stock Exchange, (LSE: PLM), and had fiscal year 2004 sales revenues of $90 million. Worldwide headquarters are in Cambridge, United Kingdom, with manufacturing facilities in Colorado, USA and Cork, Ireland. Plasmon has regional sales offices throughout Europe and North America. For more information, visit or

More information:

Plasmon Press Contact:

Sally Fisher
Plasmon Data Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)1763 262963

Louise Chaundy / Dan Purvis
Goode International Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)1491 873323

Plasmon and UDO are registered trademarks of Plasmon Plc. Copyright 2004