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A CD-ROM (//, compact disc read-only memory) is a type of read-only memory consisting of a pre-pressed optical compact disc that contains data. Computers can read—but not write or erase—CD-ROMs. Some CDs, called enhanced CDs, hold both computer data and audio with the latter capable of being played on a CD player, while data (such as software or digital video) is only usable on a computer (such as ISO 9660 format PC CD-ROMs).
|Media type||Optical disc|
|Capacity||553–900 MB (12 cm), 194 MB (8 cm)|
|Read mechanism||600-780 nm laser diode, 150 KB/s (1×; 150 × 210), 10,800 KB/s (72×)|
|Write mechanism||Pressed mold|
During the 1990s and early 2000s, CD-ROMs were popularly used to distribute software and data for computers and fifth generation video game consoles. DVD started to replace it in these roles starting in the early 2000s.