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Monday, May 12, 2003
Ricoh to supply DVD+RW loaders to Taiwanese manufacturers

According to DigiTimes, Ricoh Japan has seen an improved yield rate on its DVD+RW loader production and will start shipments after mid-May. Many Taiwanese manufacturers will have the chance to use the Ricoh loaders for their own drives.

Ricoh’s DVD+RW loader consists of an optical pick-up head (PUH) and front-end ICs like servo and RF chips. The size of the shipments and specifications of the loaders are still unclear at the moment, but short supply could still occur in the near future due to strong demand, sources said.

AOpen and Ultima Electronics, both Taiwanese optical storage drive makers, have decided to adopt Ricoh loaders for their DVD+RW drives. With the DVD loaders secured this month, AOpen expects to start volume production of DVD+RW drives in the second quarter of this year, while Ultima plans to follow suit in the third quarter, sources said.

Meanwhile, Mustek Systems, a Taiwanese PC peripherals maker, also expects to launch two DVD recorder models with a platform jointly provided by Ricoh and US-based Cirrus Logic. While Ricoh expects to provide the loader, Cirrus Logic will supply analog-digital converters and digital signal processors (DSPs), sources said.

Local optical drive makers in general have scheduled to start volume production of DVD+RW drives in the third quarter of this year. But earlier reports showed that the companies could be forced to postpone the schedule due to short supply of key components, especially PUHs.

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