The first fruit of Sony's optical drive partnership with NEC have arrived in Europe: a drive the company claims is the world's fastest DVDÂ±R writer, capable of burning single-layer discs at up to 18x speed. Sony admitted the availability of media certified for use at 18x was "limited", but it claimed the drive - dubbed the AWG170A - would write 16x discs at the higher speed. It also said the drive will write DVD-RAM discs as 12x. DVDÂ±R DL discs are written at up to 8x, it added, the same speed the drive writes DVD+RWs. DVD-RW discs are written at 6x. CD-R/RW discs are burned at 48x.
Sony touted the AWG170A's compact, fanless self-cooling design, along with mechanisms to compensate for unbalanced discs - all that spinning would do anyone's head in, we say - and to minimise vibration during the read/write process, another cause of coasters.