Plextor is introducing a new CD-RW drive that can put up to 980MB of data on an 80-minute CD-R, and 1.2GB onto the somewhat rarer 99-minute CD-Rs. Plextor is currently mum on exactly how they do it, but "enthusiast sites" cited in the article claim that the drive burns pits up to 40% smaller than other drives. Smaller pits means more pits; more pits mean more data.
Of course, the big question is whether anything other than the new Plextors will be able to read discs recorded with the teeny leedle pits. I suppose that people looking for a backup solution, for example, would probably go for it regardless, but the lack of portability (if true) would certainly put a damper on things.
Still, I have to hand it to Plextor for shaking things up a bit. At this point, there are piles of 52X CD-RW drives out there, with little to differentiate them. The last real innovation I can think of was Yamaha's interesting DiscT@2 technology, and that was back when Yamaha still made CD-RW drives. 'Nuff said.