Optical pick-up head (PUH) manufacturer Acute Applied Technologies (Aatek) recently faced
resignations from high-level executives at the company, highlighting the fact that things
are far from well with Taiwan?s PUH industry.
Aatek, which claims it was the first Taiwan company to volume produce PUHs, specializes
in PUHs for DVD players and at one time was shipping more than one million PUHs per
month. Although the company is shipping much less than that currently, it is still faring
better than other Taiwan-based PUH makers.
Topray Technologies, Opto-Mechatronics and MET Technology are the three other Taiwan
makers of PUHs.
Topray focuses on PUHs for slim-type portable DVD players, but has yet to begin volume
production. Volume production was originally scheduled for this quarter, but the company
recently announced it would be delayed until sometime in 2005. The company is currently
having samples certified by clients.
Opto-Mechatronics, which was established by Tatung, relies on technology transferred from
the government-sponsored Opto-Electronics & Systems Laboratories (OES), and the is not
certain when it will start volume production.
MET Technology began volume production of PUHs for slim-type DVD burners in October of
this year, but has only received small order volumes.
Two other Taiwan-based companies, G-Bond and Optodyne, also developed PUHs before, but
they already quit the business due to a lack of orders.
According to Taiwan producers of optical disc drives, the small scale production of
Taiwan PUH makers places them at a competitive disadvantage against Japanese makers,
especially the world?s top three makers, Sanyo Electric, Hitachi and Sharp.