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Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Panasonic Begins Blu-ray Disc Production

Panasonic Facilities in Torrance, and Universal City, Calif., To Launch 0.1 mm-based Blu-ray Disc Pilot Production and High Definition Content Authoring Technology Center in mid-May

Panasonic, the brand by which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC) is known worldwide, will start operating a pilot production line for Blu-ray Disc replication within its Torrance disc manufacturing facility and open a technology center for creating Blu-ray Disc titles in a Universal City-based Panasonic lab in mid-May. Blu-ray Disc is the next generation optical disk with a capacity of up to 50 Gigabytes, enough to hold an entire high definition movie plus additional features.

By opening the BD-ROM replication line and authoring technology center, Panasonic expects to spur the development of a local end-to-end BD-ROM technology base for title production services and further demonstrate actual Blu-ray Disc title creation to Hollywood studios, replicators and production houses.

Panasonic has led in the development of the ultra-precise spin-coating technology used to form the 0.1mm covering layer used in Blu-ray Disc. Now, working with production-machinery manufacturer Origin Electric, Panasonic has developed technologies for the efficient mass production of BD-ROM discs using cost-effective resin coating.

"Panasonic has established this Blu-ray Disc pilot production line and authoring technology center to help the Blu-ray Disc industry get off to a smooth start," said Mr. Kazuhiro Tsuga, executive officer of Matsushita Electric. "Now, working with solution providers, Panasonic will meet the industry?s needs for both 0.1mm-based Blu-ray Disc replication and High Definition content authoring."

The Blu-ray Disc line, which is based within the Panasonic Disc Manufacturing Corporation facility in Torrance, will begin full pilot production of single-layer BD-ROM discs by the end of May, and dual-layer BD-ROM discs in December. The company?s Blu-ray Disc technology center, which will collaborate with Sonic Solutions for Blu-ray Disc authoring, is based in Panasonic Hollywood Lab in Universal City.

Visitors to the MediaTech 2005 Expo, which will be held May 10-12 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, will be able to see a presentation and video demo on the BD-ROM pilot production line at the Marubeni Disc Systems, Inc. booth.

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