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Thursday, February 21, 2002
Asustek: Slim-type drives, add-on cards move front and center

Asustek Computer shipped a record 500,000 optical disc drives and add-on cards in January. In addition, its own-brand, slim-type optical disc drives are now being used in notebook computer production. Its DVD-ROM drives – turned down by customers more than a year ago because of sub-standard quality – are being installed in Sony’s VAIO J-series desktop computer.

Due to Asustek’s dominance in motherboards and notebooks, its development of optical disc drives and add-on cards in the recent past has remained hidden backstage. However, recent accomplishments in slim-type drive production, posing a high technical threshold for most Taiwanese companies, may change all this.

Much of the global market for slim-type drives is covered by Japanese companies such as Toshiba, Matsushita and TEAC. Quanta subsidiary Quanta Storage was one of the first in Taiwan to make an impression on this market. In January, it shipped 200,000 slim-type CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives. Now Asustek has successfully designed and volume-produced slim-type drives in-house, which in turn should allow for the reduction of notebook production costs and for the chance to move onto the global market for slim-type drives.

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