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Thursday, April 27, 2006
LiteOn to Ship FVD Drives in the U.S.


Lite-On IT has landed PC-use FVD (forward versatile disc) orders from a leading U.S.-based distributor with shipment slated to start in June, according to Derray Huang, deputy general director of the Opto-electronics and Systems Laboratories (OES) at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).

The FVD format is a red-laser high-definition DVD format developed by Taiwan as an alternative to blue laser HD DVD and Blu-ray disc high-definition DVD formats.

Mr Huang did not disclose the name of the U.S. distributor that ordered the FVD drives from LiteOn. According to DigiTimes.com more Taiwan players are joining to promote the Taiwan-developed optical disc standard. Albatron Technology, Kolin, Ya Hsin Industrial are currently promoting FVD products.

FVD manufacturing had been contracted to BenQ's optical disc drive (ODD) unit, but its ODD unit was recently acquired by Lite-On IT, which will now conduct manufacturing.

FVD is considered as a cost effective solution for storing high definition content (1920x1080) and promises capacities of 5.4GB~15GB (up to 3 layers).

Compared with the DVD format, the FVD disc features a smaller track pitch of 0.64um, a new modulation code (8/15), new error correction code (ECC) and navigation data structure. In addition, to make FVD more competitive, Taiwan's Advanced Optical Storage Research Alliance has signed with Microsoft Taiwan to adopt Microsoft's DRM (digital rights management) technology. The format also adopts Microsoft's WMV-9 compression technology, which allows 135 minutes of high definition content to be stored on a single layer FVD disc.

The format is supported by leading Taiwanese hardware and media makers including CMC Magnetics, RiTEk, LITE-ON, BenQ and MSI.


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