The Aopen CRW2440 writer

Thursday, January 10, 2002


Introduction

AOpen has always been a diverse manufacturer, so it didn't come as any surprise when we received a test-model of their new CRW2440 CD-RW. The CRW2440 is capable at burning CD-R media at a speed of 24X, CD-RW disks at 10X, and play CDs at 40X. It also incorporates Just Link and Just Speed technologies, which add to its appeal. So, let's take a closer look, shall we?


Description

AOpen's designers didn't take too long in improving upon the CRW-1232. The CRW-2440 comes complete with just about every technological refinement a user could want out of a CD-RW, two of which - Just Link, and Just Speed - we'll be looking at in closer detail.



Just Link

Just Link is a technology that first made its debut in the AOpen CRW-1232. It's function is quite similar to that of Burn-Proof technology, but uses spaces of only 2 microns, as opposed to the 40 microns employed by the latter. The following is a more complete description:

When users make use of their systems to accomplish any sort of task while it is in the process of burning a CD, there's always a chance that the CD-R or CD-RW's memory buffer will find itself unexpectedly empty of with too few data.

This could easily result if the system's hard drive is too occupied with other duties to supply the CD recorder with fresh data. Normally, the result would be a CD-ROM that hasn't been properly burned, and is useful as little more than a freesbee.

To attack this problem, engineers have designed drives with large buffers capable of storing larger amounts of data, and technologies capable of making better use of the caches themselves.

Just Link is one example of such a technology. Its purpose is to constantly verify the supply of data within the buffer, in order to insure that there is enough data present to continue writing to disk. If there isn't, writing is temporarily suspended until the data begins flowing again. This can be done by inscribing small "checkpoints" in the disk to bridge the gap between one write-pass and the next. And, because the Just Link "bridges" are only 2 microns in size, they're completely imperceptible.



Just Speed

Just Speed technology is what allows the CRW-2440 to prevent write errors when operating at high speeds (e.g. 16X or higher). When Just Speed is On, the drive will determine for itself - using calibration data about the medium detected - what the optimum write speed is. It will then use that determined speed when it writes to disk. This function can be changed via "Mode Command Select". Default value of Just Speed = On.

Next: The specifications.