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Thursday, July 10, 2003
Quanta Storage allies with MKE on slim-type, slot-in DVD-ROM

Quanta Storage, the largest slim-type optical storage maker in Taiwan, has allied with Japan-based Matsushita Kotobuki Electronics Industries (MKE) to produce slim-type, slot-in DVD-ROM drives, according to DigiTimes.

The Taiwanese company is the only manufacturer authorized to use MKE’s patented technology for slot-in optical storage drives, which employs a sensor instead of the roller system in traditional solutions to insert discs. Thanks to the exclusive sensor device, optical drive makers can significantly reduce the thickness of their products, Chien said in an analyst meeting on July 9.

Quanta Storage is scheduled to start sampling the slot-in drives in the third quarter of this year, with most potential clients coming from the LCD TV sector. Besides the consumer electronics market, the company also plans to pursue sales in the automobile-use optical storage drive market, Chien said.

Global consumer-use optical storage drive output will reach an estimated 200 million units in 2003, compared to 60 million units for the automobile-use market, Chien said.

The slot-in DVD-ROM will adopt pick-up heads (PUHs) provided by MKE. In the future, Quanta Storage may also manufacture the drives for its Japanese partner, Chien said.

The two companies have had a long-term partnership. Quanta Storage used to produce slim-type, slot-in CD-ROM drives for MKE. In addition, the Taiwanese company has been ordering motors from MKE for its current DVD-ROM products.

In the first half of 2003, slim-type combo, DVD-ROM and CD-ROM drives respectively contributed about 86%, 13% and 9% of Quanta Storage’s revenues.

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