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Thursday, February 24, 2005
Japan firms make inroads on MediaTek's turf


Japan's optical disk drive (ODD) chipset-solution providers are enjoying growing sales to Taiwan ODD makers at the expense of MediaTek, the world's largest ODD-chipset-solution vendor, as Digitimes.comreports.

According to the sources, Sony and Sanyo have been promoting a sales scheme in which they will cut their chipset prices, if ODD system makers in Taiwan also buy their pick-up heads (PUHs). The sources indicated that Sanyo has already gained orders with certain ODD makers, and Lite-On IT is expected to start shipping PC-use DVD burners using Sony's solution next quarter.

The move may place more pressure on MediaTek to lower its prices. MediaTek has been reluctant to cut its prices, even though systems makers are facing falling prices on their products, the sources indicated. To secure its market share, MediaTek is accelerating the migration of its PC-use solutions to 0.18-micron process technology and increasing its product offerings to include DVD-RAM solutions, the sources added.

According to the sources, other DVD-RW chipset solution providers, such as Philips Semiconductor, are also competing on price. By the end of the first half of 2005, the average selling price for 16x DVD-RW chipsets may fall 20% to US$8, and by year-end prices may fall 40%, the sources added.


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