I-O Data Device Ltd. today announced the internal BRD-SH8B and the external BRD-UH8 8x Blu-ray burners, both scheduled to retail in Japan by the end of October.
The drives are based on the "BH08N" design by Hitachi LG Data Storage (HLDS). The BRD-SH8B comes with a SATA interface while the external BRD-UH8 should be connected to a PC through a USB 2.0 interface, with the latter to limit the maximum recording speed for Blu-ray media at 6x, at least if you have not previously installed an optimization utility for the USB 2.0.
Basic specifications of both drives include 8x recording with BD-R (25GB and 50GB), 2.3x with BD-RE (SL and DL) and 8x reading with DVD-ROM (SL and DL). However, the maximum recording speed also depends on the Blu-ray media you are using. For example, BD-R SL by Sony and TDK (6x compatible) will be burned at 8x, while Panasonic's BD-R SL (6x compatible) will reach the 6x. The 2x BD-R SL media by Hitachi Maxell and Mitsubishi Chemicals will be also burnt at 8x. I-O Data offers a complete listing of the supported media on its Web-site.
Continuing with the specifications, the I-O Data drives are able to burn on LTH (Low-to-high) BD-R discs at 2x. The drives also offer DVD burning capabilities: 16x for DVD+R/-R SL, 8x with DVD+R/-R DL, 10x with DVD+RW/-RW and 5x with DVD-RAM. The legacy CD format is also supported (48x/40x/48x).
The drives will retail later this month in Japan for 41,000 ($390, BRD-SH8B) Yen and 44,400 ($420, BRD-UH8).