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Monday, November 10, 2003
National Semiconductor Introduces Laser Diode Drivers That Slash DVD/CD Recording Times in Optical Disk Drives


National Semiconductor Corporation today introduced laser diode drivers (LDDs) that will allow desktop and notebook disk drive manufacturers to slash DVD/CD write and rewrite times by 50 percent. National's new drivers will enable consumers to burn full 4.7-gigabyte DVD discs in approximately 15 minutes. These LDDs, part of National's high-speed LMH(TM) family of amplifiers, were specifically designed for combination DVD/CD recorder optical storage devices used in desktop, notebook and consumer DVD video recorders.

National semiconductor's LMH LDD products allow manufacturers of optical pickup units (OPUs) to provide OEMs and consumers with the fastest DVD/CD recorders on the market. National's strength in laser diode drivers leverages the company's unique capabilities in high-speed analog amplifiers, low voltage differential signaling (LVDS) technologies, LLP(TM) chip-scale package technology and innovative VIP10 manufacturing processes. Sanyo Corporation, designed the first generation of National's laser diode drivers into its latest high-speed optical pickup unit.

By integrating the low voltage differential signaling interface into the driver, National addresses the high speed requirements of driving the signal from the controller chip to the OPU. National's VIP10 process technology provides a very fast switching rate of less than 0.5ns, enabling the fastest write and rewrite times for optical recording. This combination of LVDS interface and fast switching rates gives National's customers the highest-speed laser diode drivers available.

"With this new family of products, National is enabling the industry's fastest optical disk drives. We have the technology roadmap in place to produce next-generation products that will achieve a 12x write and 8x rewrite capability," said Erroll Dietz, product line director for National's Amplifiers group. "We are delighted to work with Sanyo and other companies to introduce this exciting technology to the marketplace."

The market for DVD optical storage devices is growing rapidly. "Consumers are downloading more and more files as they build their collection of photos, videos and music, essentially turning their computers into entertainment vehicles," said Shane Rau, senior research analyst, PC and consumer semiconductors, for market research firm IDC. "That's why the DVD semiconductor market will continue to be important for analog application- specific standard products."

IDC expects the worldwide market for DVD recorder drives in notebook and desktop computers to grow at a phenomenal compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 71.5 percent, reaching 77 million units worldwide by 2007. The market for semiconductors used in DVD players and recorders will grow from $3.7 billion in 2002 to $8.8 billion in 2007 -- a compounded growth rate of 19%.


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