Philips Electronics has launched the world's first 16-speed DVD writer, which can burn a disc in less than six minutes.
U.S. computer maker Dell will be the first customer for the new DVD burner, sources familiar with the Philips activity told Reuters. Philips and Dell have a partnership to supply each other with products.
Philips said it planned to produce 600,000 of the devices every month. Computer makers will pay between 80 and 90 euros ($97-$109) per DVD writer when buying in large quantities, while consumers will have to pay around 180 euros.
The product, which has two layers that take the maximum storage capacity up to 8.5 gigabytes or four hours of DVD quality video, will be a mainstream feature in personal computers by the end of 2004, Philips said.
Until now, eight-speed burners were at the top of the range.
DVDs were designed to store film and video. With the advent of digital video cameras and still cameras, consumers are increasingly interested in editing their videos on a personal computer, then burning them on a DVD for storage or for sending to other people.
Philips' optical storage unit, which was also the first with an eight-speed DVD burner last September, returned to profitability in 2003 after heavy losses as a result of Asian competition