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(Japanese Site)

  • Mitsumi Exhibits 12.7mm-Thick DVD-ROM Drive
  • February 13, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Mitsumi Electric Co., Ltd. exhibited a 12.7mm-thick DVD-ROM drive and other new products at its private '98 Mitsumi Show held Feb. 5-6 in Tokyo.

    The company demonstrated the new SDR200X 2x DVD-ROM drive, which is able to play back moving images and CD-Rs.

    Although 12.7mm-thick DVD-ROM drives are not new, Mitsumi is the first company to actually demonstrate one. Other companies that have developed similar drives include Teac Corp., which showed a model at Comdex/Fall last November.

    Mitsumi showed two versions of its prototype at the show. In one model, the optical pick-up equipment was manufactured by Sharp Corp., and in the other it was made by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.

    However, the company still is undecided about whether to develop either of the prototypes into products for the market. The company said the reason is that the patent costs are not clear, and trying to produce a marketable product could be expensive.

    At present, patent fees for equipment related to DVD drives can take up to 10 percent or 20 percent of OEM costs, which means that even if a company is the manufacturer, it cannot achieve a profit, one engineer said.

    In effect, the way the market is currently structured means that it not really possible for any company, except for the 10 that propose and set the DVD standards, to try and market DVD drive products. This is seen as an obstacle to getting DVD products more widely used.

    Another prototype electronic component that attracted attention at the show was a new temperature compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO) that measures 7mm x 5mm x 1.9mm and weighs about 0.2g. Conventional TCXO devices measure 9mm x 7mm x 2mm.

    Other highlights of the components on display included a thin- type transformer for use in color TFT-LCD inverters and a prototype of a compact, 20mm square GPS antenna.

    (Nikkei Electronics)

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    Updated: Thu Feb 12 16:01:49 1998