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Friday, September 13, 2002
Optical storage market looking brighter


The PC peripherals optical storage market, boosted by a July rebound in motherboard shipments, has seen a revival in CD-ROM single chip and DVD-ROM single chip shipments starting in August, said IC design houses. However, due to heavier inventory, CD-RW chipsets are not expected to see an improvement in shipments until the fourth quarter, they added.

With dashed hopes of a back-to-school boom in demand, optical storage companies have pinned their hopes on the Christmas selling season. ALi Corporation (formerly Acer Laboratories) indicated that Christmas season orders have already begun to surface, though since orders are small, visibility remains low, at one to two weeks.

Moreover, due to lower utilization at foundries currently, turnaround time on production has been faster. Thus, the outlook for Christmas demand may not be known until late September or early October, said industry sources.

Prices should remain relatively stable this quarter, they added.

VIA Technologies plans to begin CD-RW chipset volume production at the end of this year or early next year and DVD-ROM single chip volume production in the beginning of the fourth quarter. Mediatek is scheduled to enter volume production of DVD-RW chipsets in the fourth quarter. ALi’s DVD-ROM single chips should begin volume production no later than October.


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