The outstanding invention of compact disks (CDs) has created huge demands for new consumer products worldwide. The contribution of thin‐film development is imperative for CD manufacturing either using evaporation or sputtering technologies. The fast interactions of ‘‘market pull’’ and ‘‘technology push’’ have permanently improved product quality and reduced product costs. Today the fifth generation of machines in a period of 11 yr is supplied to the market for depositing aluminum as reflective layer on CD. Off‐line CD manufacturing processes switched to fully automated in‐line production. The aim for the future is the laser disk to repeat the CD‐market success shortly. Again thin‐film technology will be the important key for excellent product quality and lowest product costs.

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