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Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Taiwanese Companies to Jointly Produce Blu-ray Optical Pickup Units

With global supplies of Blu-ray optical pickup units running short worldwide, seven manufacturers of optical disc drives from Taiwan and Japan yesterday announced their plan to establish new lines for the production of Blu-ray optical pickup units in the Central Taiwan Science Park.

As it was reported today by the Taiwan Economic News, seven manufacturers of optical disc drives from Taiwan and Japan yesterday unveiled their plan to open 15 lines for Blu-ray optical pickup unit production in the Central Taiwan Science Park at a cost of NT$2.5 billion (US$75 million at US$1:NT$33).

The seven manufacturers include Forward Electronics Co., Ltd. (Taiwan), Genius Electronic Optical Co., Ltd. (Taiwan), Tera Autotech Corp., Inc. (Taiwan), Sunext Technology Co., Ltd. (Taiwan), and TDK-owned SAE Magnetic Ltd. (Japan).

According to the plan, the seven firms will set up the 15 production lines in three stages, with the first going from 2009 through 2011, the second ending in 2012 and the third ending in 2013. The production lines are designed to have maximum output of 18 million pickup heads a year.

The plan is expected to help develop an industrial cluster comprising pickup-head, system-product, connector and mechanism-spindle sectors.

While the demand for optical pickup units (OPU) for the Blu-ray players rises, the production of OPU is currently short and Japan is the main source of such components, with Sanyo, Sony and Hitachi to be the biggest suppliers. However, the today's announcement could help Taiwan emerge as a world-manufacturing hub of Blu-ray optical disc players.

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