It's about to become a lot quicker to make your own CDs. Two of the leading backers of CD-RW (compact disc-rewritable) technology unveiled yesterday prototypes of new high speed CD-RW drives that are expected to hit the market in the middle of this year. Yamaha was showing a drive capable of writing CD-RW discs at 8x, reading CD-R discs at 8x, and reading CD-ROM discs at 24x at the German show CeBIT. "We expect it will be available in May or June," said Seiji Matsumoto, chief fellow at Yamaha. Another Japanese manufacturer, Ricoh, went one better with a demonstration of a new drive that can write CD-RW discs at 10x, read CD-R discs at 10x, and read CD-ROM discs at 32x. The drive will be the fastest CD-R/RW device on the market when it debuts in the middle of this year, said Hideaki Oda, manager of strategic technical planning at Ricoh's Disk, Media and System Products Division. The new drives, both of which were being shown in sample form, are being held back until the final specification for high speed CD-RW has been completed. It is expected in the next few weeks, said Oda, but he cautioned users will also have to invest in high speed media to get the most from the new drives. Current discs retain compatibility with the new drives although write speed will be generally limited to 4x, the current maximum speed. The new high speed discs support 4x to 10x speeds.