The CDFreaks newsblurb falls a bit short. Here's what CDRInfo reports at http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/News/Details.aspx?NewsId=17670 :
[I]Japanese hardware maker Plextor will release in the middle of September the PLEXERASER, a device that will help users and enterprises avoid leakage of sensitive data stored on CD/DVD media by destroying them in a few minutes.
The device looks like an ordinary PC drive and will be available in the Japanese market first, for about 25,000 yen.
The product operates as a standalone external device, which means that no PC connection is required. When a disk is inserted into the drive, its data are automatically destroyed.
The PLEXERASER adopts the "PlexLaser Del" technology, which uses the laser power in order to destroy the recording layer of an optical disc (organic pigment layer), making the reading of the disc impossible. A fully recorded dual-layer DVD will be erased in six minutes. According to Plextor, the specific data destructing method is more environmental-friendly and allows easy recycling of the discs, compared to the physical destruction methods for CD/DVD media used by the optical disc industry.
The drive supports 8cm/12cm DVDÂ±R DL/Â±R/Â±RW and CD-R/RW media. It doesn't support erasing of CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and DVD-RAM discs.
Product: PLEXERASER PX-OE100E
Supported media: 12cm/8cm DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-R DL, DVD+R, DVD+RW and DVD+R DL, CD-R
Data destruction time:
DVD SL: 3 minutes
DVD DL: 6 minutes
CD: 3 minutes
Loading system: Tray system
Power: AC100~240V (50/60Hz)
AC adapter: DC+12 (Â±10%) 3A
Power consumption 17.4W
Size: 167.1mm x 53mm x 253.5mm (W x H x D)
Warranty: 1 year[/I]
This looks to me like the same tech as implemented in the 755/760 automated to do a "full" erase on every disc inserted. I guess this unit is basically a 755 in an external case with a red tray and eject button plus two stickers plus a modified FW.
So why did Plextor produce this? I'd guess Plextor did not produce this just because they felt someone might need it but that they where rather specifically approached by a (bigger) company with the specific wish for a certain quantity of such a solution and are now offering it on the market to the general public too.
Why would anyone use this instead of other methods? Simply beause other solutions might not be valid solutions depending of the working evironment. Let me construct an example: Imagine a lab that operates under dust free conditions and that there is a 'no data carrier leaves the lab' rule in place to guard company secrets. In such a case the conventional shredding, breaking, scratching, etc. would be out of the question.