Optical Drive

Definition - What does Optical Drive mean?

An optical drive is a type of computer disk drive that reads and writes data from optical disks through laser beaming technology.

This type of drive allows a user to retrieve, edit and delete the content from optical disks such as CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray disks. Optical drives are among the most common computer components.

An optical drive may also be known as an optical disk drive (ODD).

Techopedia explains Optical Drive

Although an optical drive can be used to read and write, it is mainly used as an input device. The functionality of an optical drive is dependent on optical disks. In other words, an optical drive is of no use without an optical disk inserted into it.

Optical drives work by rotating the inserted disk at a constant speed, calculated in revolutions per minute (RPM), which generally range from 1,600- 4,000 RPM, where speeds provide faster data reading time. The rotating disk in an optical drive is read with a laser beam propagated using the lens embedded within the optical drive’s head. Optical drives mainly use an Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) bus or a Serial ATA bus, along with Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) to send and receive data from the computer.

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