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CATS - Davies


DataPlay, a New Technology for Information Distribution
Dave Davies
Chief Technology Officer, DataPlay Inc.

The proliferation of mobile devices and platforms has driven the development of a new method for the utilization, distribution, storage and content protection of information, namely the DataPlay digital media and micro-optical engine.

The DataPlay technology consists of a 32mm optical disc that can be recorded to (up to 500 MB by downloading for example) and yet also can contain several hundred MB of prerecorded data in an embossed form somewhat akin to a DVD or CD. The disc is compatible with the most advanced forms of digital compression, music, data and video. Selective access to the content elements is provided so that the secondary content, for example, can be made available in transactions subsequent to the initial purchase.

Since all the discs can be recorded to, as well as carry the prerecorded information, it is possible to write to the media unique encryption and conditional access keys that allow the content owner to specify the desired content protection scheme. For example the permitting of limited copying, or the prevention of wide scale illegal distribution, can be controlled through keys that are written to the disc itself and follow the disc through multiple generations. The ability to bind these keys to the disc ensures that the content protection is disc based rather than host based so that once accessed the disc can be played on any compatible player; this makes the content control generally transparent to the user unless the content rules are violated.

The 32mm discs are played and recorded on the DataPlay micro-optical engine, which at 11mm by 52mm by 47mm is the smallest optical recorder/player ever developed. The heart of the device is the mixed signal CMOS controller IC developed by DataPlay together with its partner ST Micro. This ASIC not only provides the channel, interface and decode/encode functions but also has integrated in it the most powerful ECC scheme ever commercialized in this field. Also embedded is a DES3 encryption engine and a DSP based servo control function for tracking and focusing. The engine is also the first example of an optical drive that uses a tilting rotary actuator that permits rapid data access in a simple mechanism. All this is enabled by the smallest most integrated optical pick up head ever developed; this optical head weighs only a few grams and rides on the end of the rotary actuator. The combination of low mass optics and mechanics as well as the low laser power needed to write to the disc results in a low power consumption system that only dissipates a few hundred mw in typical applications.

Refreshments will be served immediately following the presentation.

The Colorado Advanced Technology Series wants to introduce students at the University of Colorado to the technology leaders of local and national industries and help the leaders of those companies explain what their companies do and why they are great places to work. If you would like to receive email notification of upcoming talks, subscribe to our CATS Mailing List.

The main event of CATS is a series of technical talks in the middle of each semester. In each seminar, a technical or business leader from a local or national company describes new or existing technical developments, the motivation for developing that technology and the corporate environment. Each seminar is followed by refreshments and a chance for students and industry representatives to mingle and talk. See CATS Frequently Asked Questions for further information.

See also:
Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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