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located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.

Appeared on: Saturday, March 15, 2003
CeBIT 2003 Show Coverage

1. Introduction

CeBIT 2003 Coverage

Directly from the exhibitors booths

This article will evolve as the CeBIT 2003 show goes on and the CdrInfo representatives get in touch with more exhibitors and have the chance to talk to more of the participating companies.

At the moment you can find news about the following companies.

CMC Magnetics
DVD+RW Alliance
MET CyQ've

ReWritable Products Promotion Initiative (RWPPI)



2. AccessTek


A company founded in August 2000 and since then experiencing a constant growth and expansion in the areas of optical technologies.

AccessTek demonstrated its first DVD+R/RW product in CeBIT this year. The drive supports 4x DVD+R and 2.4X DVD+RW writing speeds and according to the company, a future firmware upgrade will add support for writing to 4x DVD-R /RW media, as well. The recorder also supports 12x DVD-ROM reading for pressed media and 4x reading for recordable and rewritable DVD disks. Of course, the drive is also a 24/12/40 CD-RW recorder. Availability of the drive in large quantities is expected in two months from now.

In the following picture you can see the laser pickup mechanism of the new drive. This particular pickup will also equip the upcoming dual DVD-R/+R drive, as well, with not any other special modification.

The new CD-RW recorder from Accesstek will support 52x CD-R writing, 32x (Ultra High Speed) Re-Writing and 52x reading. The 32x rewriting format is not yet an official standard but many manufacturers have chosen to support it in their upcoming drives. The format is expected to be standardized by June/July of this year.

A new combo drive was also demonstrated by Accesstek. It will be a 48x CD-R, 24x CD-RW and 48x CD-ROM with support for 16x DVD-ROM reading.

Last but not least, the new 52x32x52x external drive offers easy and fast installation through USB2.0 and will be available in three different designs according to your personal tastes. Take a quick photo preview below.

3. Asus


The company demonstrated a wide range of motherboards, notebooks, PDAs, mobile phones(!) and of course optical drives. The latest 52x/24x/52x CD-RW recorder of Asus is already in the market and it is now upgraded to the upcoming CRW-5232A, which supports 52x CD-R, 32x CD-RW and 52x CD-ROM speeds. The drive will be available with white and black bezels as shown in the photos below.

The Asus DRW-040P is the company's solution for your DVD writing tasks. The new DVD-R/RW recorder supports 4x DVD-R and 2x DVD-RW writing.

The new SCB-2408-D is a dual-interface external slim combo drive. It supports both USB2.0 and IEEE 1394 interfaces and offers 24x CD-R writing, 12x CD-RW rewriting, 24x reading, while it is also a 8x DVD-ROM. You can see the drive in the picture below.

The external version of the CRW-5224A is also available and supports the USB2.0 interface. The drive can operate in both vertical and horizontial positions, placed on stylish stands provided in the retail package.

In the same booth Asus also demonstrated its well known 16x DVD-ROM drive, already available in retail places, and some new DVD-R media.


4. Ricoh


As a founding member of the DVD+RW alliance, Ricoh demonstrated its latest DVD+RW/+R drive. Ricoh's belief is that although the +R/+RW format is newer than the -R/-RW, it has shown a very fast market growth and soon will be the standard format for DVD recording. The MP5240A-DP supports 4x DVD+R and DVD+RW writing speeds and 8x DVD reading. The drive also offers 24x CD-R, 10x CD-RW and 40x CD reading. The MP5240-DP uses chipsets and pickup mechanism manufactured by Ricoh itself, as it was also the case in its previous models.

The same drive is available in an external version:

The MP8160-DP is the Ricoh's solution for portable and light-weight DVD recordings.

Below is a DVD+R/+RW drive especially suited for use in notebooks:

In the following photo you can see a new stand alone DVD recorder for home use:

A new generation of DVD+R and DVD+RW media support writing speeds up to 4x:

Ricoh seems to expand its product line with new digital cameras, TFT monitors and video projectors. It seems the same tactic is being followed by many other manufacturers such as Waitec, Teac, Plextor, and others.

5. Waitec


Waitec was established in 1994. Initially specializing in optical storage products, the company currently also offers MP3-CD players, LCD monitors, digital cameras, CD media, DVD home players and other accessories.

Waitec is among the few companies that demonstrated a multi- format DVD recorder. The "ACTION 4" model supports both DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW writing at 4x speed, and 12x DVD-ROM reading. The drive is also a 32/24/40 CD-RW recorder. In the following picture you can see the new drive.

Waitec also offers a DVD+R/+RW drive, supporting 4x writing speeds.

The new "VISION" model is illustrated in the following picture. It is an external USB2.0 DVD and CD reader, capable of reading your DVD discs at 6x and your CD-R's at 24x speed. The player also supports MP3 playback, the VCD and the S-VCD formats. In addition, it's component video and S-Video outputs along with the digital audio output will let you connect the device to your TV set in order to watch your favorite movies.

External slim drives are usually very handy when you work out of office with your laptop and need a fast and reliable writer or reader. The STORM 16SL is a light-weight 16x/10x/24x/8x combo drive supporting both the USB2.0 and IEEE1394 interfaces.

As for the CD burners, Waitec demonstrated the already known "FRISBY II" which is an external USB2.0 recorder supporting 40x CD-R, 24x US-RW writing and 40x reading. Of course, the fastest recorder in the Waitec's line is the "STORM 52" and it is also demonstrated during CeBIT 2003.

The always expanding consumer demand for digital cameras has brought many manufacturers into the market. Many launch new cameras in order to have a decent share in the market. Waitec offers a wide range of digital cameras with the CADDY line. The leading model is currently the CADDY 238, offering a 2MPixels resolution. But the model which seems that will mainly attract consumers seems to be " CADDY 06", which can easily be held between two fingers as its dimensions are just 56x56x21 mm and weights less than 30gr! The maximum supported resolution is VGA at 1024x768 and it can be easily connected to your PC through a USB2.0 interface. Waitec cameras mostly focus on end users with affordable prices and attractive designs:

MP3 / CD players were also demonstrated, as you can see in the pictures below:

Another very interesting product is the FUSION USB flash drive. The flash memory offered is 128MB maximum, with a built-in MP3/WMA player and an FM tuner, allowing playback of more than 5 hours! The USB1.1 supported interface offers battery rechargeable function when connected to your PC, for fast and cheap operation. This is a product you must have!

In the same booth we had a chance to see the new Waitec stand alone DVD-ROM devices and a DVD Home Theatre system complete with its speaker subsystem offered, as we were informed, at a a very affordable street price.

6. DVD+RW Alliance

DVD+RW Alliance

A lot of the members of the DVD+RW Alliance (promoting the Plus R/RW format of Philips) were gathered on a single booth in CeBIT this year. Some of these companies had their own booths as well. Some of them are also members of the RWPPI (ReWritable Product Promotion Initiative, a similar move backed by Pioneer.) Most of the companies in this booth demonstrated their latest hardware and software products on different stands. Starting from Philips, Ricoh and Sanyo (member also of the RWPPI) which showed their latest DVD+RW recorders, NEC and Sony showed their dual format recorders, while Dell, HP and Microsoft, which joined the alliance lately just underlined their presence without promoting some particular products on their stands. The list including the DVD+RW Alliance members is illustrated in the picture below.

Live demonstrations of writing and editing the contents on DVD+R/RW media where scheduled every day and were made available to the participating visitors.

Media manufacturers like CMC Magnetics, Ritek, Vermatim, Prodisc and Maxell demonstrated their latest 4x DVD+R and DVD+RW media.

Most of these companies had also their own booth, so more information will be available in other sections of this article.


Philips demonstrated the new DVD+R/RW recorder which supports 4x DVD+R and 2.4x DVD+RW writing. The company also showed its new stand alone consumer DVD recorder.

Ricoh showed the new MP5240A, supporting 4x DVD+R/RW and 8x DVD reading. More information about the Ricoh products are available in the Ricoh page in this article.

Drive manufacturers NEC, Sony, Sanyo, TDK and BenQ presented their latest alternatives to DVD recording. The first two companies support both DVD recording formats ("dash" and "plus") in their IDE drives, while Sanyo chose to demonstrate the +R/RW version of the upcoming Sanyo recorder, which will also be a dual recorder as well. Sanyo also demonstrated the HD-Burn writing technology, allowing recording of up to 1.6GB of data on normal 700MB CD-R media. More information about these new products will be available in the corresponding pages concerning each company in this article.

In the same booth, many software manufacturers showed their latest DVD recording and editing programs. Ahead demonstrated the new Nero ShowTime, a very powerful DVD playback software, NeroVision Express v2.0, the latest version of the famous Nero Burning Rom, InCD v4.0, and many more. More information is available in the Nero page of this article.


Roxio was also there with the latest Easy CD & DVD Creator v6. The new Platinum Edition offers easy to use interfaces for DVD and CD recording, audio playback, DVD editing and Photo management on CD and DVD media.

Unlead presented the new DVD PowerTools series for easy authoring of DVD video and fast capturing and MPEG 2 encoding from DV camera to your hard disk.

ArcSoft, BHA and MedioStream participated in the DVD+RW Alliance booth with their latest DVD/ Video authoring and burning software solutions.

In the following you can see the stand alone recorder from Daewoo.

7. AOpen


Aopen currently offers a wide range of products ready to cover every user need for affordable and reliable PC components, motherboards, graphic cards, PC cases, optical storage solutions and other peripherals.

Concerning the optical storage products, the company demonstrated a new DVD+RW recorder, a combo drive and the already known 52x CD-RW and CD-ROM drives.

The new AOpen DRW-4410 is a 4x DVD+R/RW recorder and is expected to hit the market in the coming two months. The drive also supports DVD-R/RW writing but this will be available through a future firmware upgrade. Of course, this drive is also a 24/10/40 CD burner.

COM4012 is a 40/12/40 CD-RW recorder and a 16x DVD-ROM reader.

The well-known AOpen CRW5224 is now available in two versions with a black or silver front bezel.

The same drive is also available in an external version. The EHW-5224U has a USB2.0 interface for fast plug-and-play to your PC.

A different but very useful device is the new "Disc Steno CP100". This is a stand alone portable digital backup device allowing transferring of data from various types of memory cards to CD-R/RW discs without a need of any computer involved in the transaction.

For all the PC gamers, the following product will definitely be an interesting component. It is a cold cathode fluorescent lamp, which is easily connected to your PC when playing your favorite game and it lights up according to the sound action of the game. As the sound becomes louder, the lamp lights up more. This is a smart way to make your playing more realistic, isn't it?

Cathode tubes are back in the surface of our high-tech era with the new line of AOpen Tube motherboards. This line of boards supports both the Intel and AMD CPUs. They are equipped with a vacuum tube in order to offer full gaming experience by increasing the quality of sound out of the analog output of the built-in audio card. Note that audiophiles are very picky when it comes to tonality and the usage of the Tube amplification contributes to this argument.

Huge PC cooling fans are available by AOpen for smooth and unproblematic operation of your PC. Robust PC cases are also available to fit even the most demanding hardware.

The following product is a portable PC equipped with ordinary components exactly the same components as those used on an ordinary PCs. User can change the internal parts easily and replace them with any other compliant units, fit the slim keyboard on the top and use it as a normal PC. In addition, he can upgrade the graphic module easily. The current supported graphic module is based on NV31 (nVidia chipset)-interface with MAP-17. LAN gamers could find this product very convenient due to the easy handling for transportation to the LAN arena, and enjoy full graphical details. We hope will be able to bring more information on this clever idea in the future.

8. Primera

Primera Technologies

It is well known that Primera Technologies offers a broad range of automated CD/DVD duplication and printing products. In CeBIT this year the company demonstrated new entry-level CD/DVD duplicators, like the new Bravo Disc Publisher, as well as some other disc publishing systems and disc autoloaders. The new Bravo uses either a 52x LG CD-RW recorder or the Pioneer DVR-A05 DVD-RW drive for CD/DVD recording. The device can print on 25 discs per job at resolutions up to 2400dpi, using a Lexmark printing head.

The fully automated auto loading systems offer fast and easy publishing jobs and can be proved ideal tools in the hands of professionals for promotion and general marketing proposes.

The ComposerMAX is the top product of Primera and supports up to four CD-RW or DVD recorders. The device offers publishing of up to 400 discs per job.

9. ReWritable Products Promotion Initiative (RWPPI)

ReWritable Products Promotion Initiative (RWPPI)

RW Products Promotion Initiative is a group actively involved in developing and promoting DVD-R/RW media and the related products. RWPPI was founded by 12 companies and membership since its establishment in May 2002 has now increased to include 50 companies.

The group recommends standard product specifications for the DVD, such as labeling for standard disc recording time, VR/RW disc play function, etc., while it focuses on the verification process of recording/playback compatibility between discs, DVD recorders, and players. It also offers consumers information about the DVD-R/RW format through partnership promotion of the DVD-R/RW and related products. It also participates in major shows worldwide.

In CeBIT the group presented some of the latest products of the main companies supporting the RWPPI, such as Pioneer, Sharp, Samsung, NEC and Sony, along with many new DVD-R/RW media. Live demonstrations of the basic usage of these media in the recording and authoring process and general information about the format's merits where scheduled every day and took place in the RWPPI booth.

New 4x DVD-R/RW discs from JVC, Maxell, Prodisc, FujiFilm and many other manufacturers were available in the booth, as shown below.

DVD players form Pioneer and Sharp where continuously playing DVD-R /RW videos in large plasma screens with an increased picture quality.

The latest multi recorder from Sony, the DRX-510ULX and the well-known Pioneer DVR-A05 were there to complete the wide range of the DVD recorders supporting the DVD-R/RW format.

10. MET

MET Technologies (CyQ've)

This year MET displayed at its booth a new 4x DVD recorder able to read and write Dolby Digital audio . It is based on the Ricoh chipset for the optical part of the construction. The drive at the exhibition (PV-2400i) used RW 5125 for demonstration proposes but the shipping version will use a new advanced design offering full 4x recording. As you might know PC drive trays are shorter by those normally used by consumer DVD/CD players. So the use of special design in the latter case is necessary.

Below you can see the 2 chips from Cirrus Logic which offer encoding/decoding functionality for the DVD audio/video streams.

The PV-2400i supports real time recording from various sources, such as TV, Digital Camcoders through FireWire, S-Video and other analogue connections.

Below you can see the drive's interior.

Heat is a problem for most DVD recorders and affects both the quality of recording and the life of the laser diode. Special precaution has been taken by the MET engineers for designing a power supply without a need for a fun. We wonder if this will be the case for the shipping version, though... (expected within the next 2 months, at an estimated street price of about 500 euros).

11. Plextor


This year Plextor announced new drives, new software components for theme, and a set of flash memory kits. All of them were available at the company's booth under the slogan "King of Quality". And indeed Plextor did offer quite some new dev elopement formats and tools, both in hardware and software, to support its advertisements.

The first new drive seems to complete the line of high-speed CD recorders and its name "Premium" is highly suggestive of its features. It is a 52x burner that offers to consumers transparent compression, encryption and the ability to check several factors of the quality of the recorded disks. These are compelling enough reasons for some users to upgrade even their 48x recently purchased recorder!

The drive supports 52x CD-R writing, 32x CD-RW writing and 52x reading. An 8MB cache buffer, along with buffer underun protection, ensures safe recordings. The drive will be available in the next couple of months.

The new version of PlexTools, the "PlexTools Professional" will be bundled in the retail package of the drive. Through the software, users will have the chance to take advantage of the new features offered by the drive and the software itself, such as compressing and encrypting the data, quality measurements of the recorded discs, jitter measurements on audio and data discs, data reading speed tests and many more.

In the picture on the left you can see the new Menu of the PlexTools Professional.

This is the first drive among those offered by Plextor able to record disks that are both compressed and encrypted. According to Plextor, with the new "GigaRec" compression up to 1.4x times the typical CD-ROM capacity can be achieved by squeezing the pits on a burned disk to their limits. This means that one can record up to 1Gbytes of data, or the equivalent of about 110 minutes of audio, by using the now widely in use standard 80min/700MB media:

This is made possible by driving existing technology to its limits. Squeezing more pits at the same spiral length of a disk means that the reading drive will have to slow down the disk rotation accordingly. In the extreme case of reading the outer part of a disk this means that the linear velocity of the disk above the pick-up will be below 1.2 meters/feet, the lowest allowable according to red-book standards for 1x playback. However, most readers, and even the not-so-old consumer players, are able to playback a disk at least at 2x speed (anti-shock). Consequently, this is not a problem when playing back a compressed disk at a higher than 1x speed.

Another important feature of the new 52x recorder is its ability to offer transparent encryption to the recorded data. This is both for the table of contents (TOC) and the data bits itself. The encryption is based on a password provided by a user during recording and is independent of any system-level encryption offered by the operating system itself. The technology is called "SecuREC" and PlexTools offer the corresponding tab to provide easy maintenance of the feature:

Both encryption and compression is offered through a new version of PlexTools, the PlexTools Professional, developed by the European team of Plextor located at Belgium and it will be available to all the worldwide distribution channels in the coming months bundled with all new 52 recorders.

It is questionable whether some of the features of the new recorder will be available to earlier Plextor models through a firmware upgrades and a software upgrade of PlexTools. It is more questionable, though, if other recording software like Nero from Ahead will support this new drive's offering in future upgrades.

We did not had the opportunity to test all these new features ourselves, so our description here is mainly based on our own interpretation of what the knowledgeable persons from Plextor Europe told us. We hope we will present tests of our own in the near future.

Another interesting feature of the new PlexTools Professional. is the C1 and C2 measurements. Any user will be able to check the writing quality of his Plextor drive with various media. An example C1 graph is illustrated in the following picture:

Jitter and Beta measurements should be considered as essential when it comes to audio recording. For more information about the importance of these measurements you can take a look in our "writing quality" article. PlexTools Professional. offers such measurements, as you can see in the picture below:

Transfer rate tests for reading discs are including in the software for accurate monitoring of the drive's reading behavior:

Plextor could not, of course, stay out of the DVD recording arena. The new Plextor PX-504A supports 4x DVD+R writing, 2.4x DVD+RW writing and 12x DVD-ROM reading. The company rushed into the DVD recording market with a DVD+R/RW drive, but it is expected to launch a full 4x -RW multi format drive soon.

PX-116A is a new 16x DVD-ROM and 48x CD-ROM drive. The fastest compo from this manufacturer yet.

Plextor has a very good reputation when it comes to CD-ROM drives. The new PX-54TA supports 54x CD reading. This is the fastest CD-ROM-only drive using the new MediaTek chipset.

At its booth Plextor also displayed new PlexFlash USB Flash memory kits offering capacities up to 512MB with fast and easy plug-n-play capabilities when connected to your PC for easy data transfers.

12. BenQ


BenQ, an Asus outspin, presented a wide range of products this year. From LCD and CRT monitors, to plasma displays, digital cameras, scanners and mobile phones. BenQ offers solutions for home and office use. Coming to the optical storage stands, we saw the latest 48x and 52x CD-RW recorders. The company plans to offer the 32x CD-RW writing speed in a newer 52/32/52 drive.

All the CD recorders will be available in their external versions as well. In the following picture you can see the 5224EU model.

BenQ demonstrated two different DVD recorders, the 4212VR DVD-R/RW and the 4212DW DVD+R/RW drives. The 4212VR drive supports 4x DVD-R and 2x DVD-RW while the 4212DW offers 4x DVD+R and 2.4x DVD+RW. Both drive support 12x DVD-ROM reading and 16x CD-R writing. In the picture below you can see the external version of the DVD+R/RW recorder.

Illustrated above, 1648C is a combo CD-RW and DVD-ROM drive supporting 48x CD-R and 24x CD-RW writing, 48x reading and 8x DVD-ROM reading. In the same picture you can also see the internal versions of the already mentioned DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW drives.

Stylish DVD+R/RW stand alone recorders were also demonstrated in the BenQ booth.

13. CMC Magnetics

CMC Magnetics

CMC Magnetics demonstrated their latest "Mr Data" 8-24x CD-RW discs and 4x DVD+R and DVD+RW media. The Taiwanese company plans to add the 4x DVD-R and 2x DVD-RW discs to its inventory soon.

This company also offers 52x CD-R media along with 8cm CD-R and business cards.

14. LG


LG is the first company to launch a multi DVD recorder supporting writing on DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW and DVD-RAM formats. The new GMA-4040B writes DVD-R at 4x, DVD-RW at 2x, DVD+R at 4x, DVD+RW at 2.4x and DVD-RAM ver.2.1 at 3x (ZCLV). The drive also supports 24x CD-R (Z-CLV) and 16x CD-RW (Z-CLV) writing. In the reading part, the GMA-4040B offers 12x DVD-ROM reading, 10x DVD-R/RW/+R/RW, 32x CD-ROM/R, 24x CD-RW and 3x DVD-RAM (Ver 2.1). The drive is expected to hit the market by June-July.

Another new product is the LG GCC-4480B combo drive. It supports 48x CAV CD-R and 24x PCAV CD-RW writing, 48x CD-ROM/R reading and 16x DVD-ROM reading.

The LG combo drive list continues with the LG GCC-4520B, which is a a 52x24x52 CD-RW and 16x DVD-ROM combo drive, expected to be available by April/May.


In the picture below you can see the new LG GCC-5241P. This is a portable CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive supporting 24x CD-R, 10x CD-RW writing, 24x CD-ROM/R reading and 8x DVD-ROM reading. The drive has a 2MB buffer and can be easily connected to notebooks and PCs through the USB2.0 interface.

15. INcoder


Established in 1996, INcoder focuses on the design and distribution of high-margin, external optical storage drives/players and related accessories. The fast growing Taiwanese company offers stylish products which turn out to be a physical extension to desktop PCs and Notebook PC peripherals.

The company demonstrated new portable external CD-RW drives and CD-RW/DVD combos. The C1 type illustrated below is a very stylish metal combo drive, supporting 24x CD-R writing, 10x rewriting, 24x CD-ROM/R reading and 8x DVD-ROM reading. The drive supports both USB2.0 and IEEE 1394 interfaces for fast and flexible connection to your PC or notebook. The complete retail package includes all the essential cables for easy operation along with a very useful carrying bag and a rubber pad, in order to place and operate your drive in a vertical position, as you can see in the picture below:

The D1 type slim combo drive offers the same specifications as the previous model but comes with a new design with brown leather cover, at a very attractive price.

Another very interesting product is illustrated in the picture below. The "Voyage" MP3 JukeBox player is able to playback MP3, WMA and WAV files, stored on both flash memory and hard disk on a single device. The Voyage is powered by an included battery kit, which is rechargeable through a USB 2.0 interface. A wide range of expansion modules, such as earphones, remote control and FM transmitter make the player a very attractive solution for home and car use. More information about the INcoder products is available in the corresponding hardware reviews of our website.

16. Mitsumi


This year Mitsumi demonstrated new DVD+RW recorders, CD-RW drives, BlueTooth modules and (of course) floppy disc drives.

The company is the first to announce a 54x CD-RW recorder. The CR485FTE supports 54x writing, 32x CD-RW writing and 54x reading. AegisWrite feature ensures safe writing operations, along with the ExacLink buffer underun protection and Mt Rainier compliance. The drive is (obviously) based on the latest MediaTek chipset.

The current CR487ETE 52x CD-RW recorder by Mitsumi could not be missing from the booth.

The following SR244W1 is a 24x slim CD-ROM dedicated for notebooks and compact desktop PCs.

Mitsumi has chosen to support the DVD+RW format with its first recorder. The DW 7800TE supports 4x DVD+R/RW writing and 16x DVD reading. of course the drive is a 40/32/40 CD-RW recorder as well.

The DW 7801TE is the second Mitsumi DVD recorder, supporting 4x DVD+R and 2.4x DVD+RW writing, 12x DV reading and offers 16/10/40 CD-RW features.

Mitsumi offers a wide range of BlueTooth modules, offering wireless communications based on the BlueTooth ver.1.1 specifications. The modules offer data transmission between printers and PCs, digital cameras, cell phones and many more, at speeds that reach up to 720kbps.

External floppy drives and USB Media Drives are very handy, especially for the notebook users. The new FA401 supports 8 types of media, such as floppy discs and memory cards, and offers fast transfer rates to your notebook through the USB interface. The device is also powered from the USB bus itself with no need of an additional power supply (unless you add more peripherals on the same bus).

17. BTC


BTC demonstrated its latest internal combo drive, the BCO4816IM. The drive supports 48x CD-R and 24x CD-RW writing, 48x CD-ROM reading and 16x DVD-ROM reading.

The new BCP 8000U is an external 40/12/48 CD-RW drive, supporting (optionally) the USB2.0 or the IEEE 1394 interfaces.

In the picture below you can see the new BCO 2408SM combo CD-RW/DVD drive for notebooks. The drive supports 24x CD-R and 12x CD-RW writing, 24x CD-ROM reading and 8x DVD-ROM reading.

18. Intenso


Intenso was founded in 1998. The company is located in Vechta, near Bremen in Northern Germany and distributes and manufacturers CD and DVD media, media packaging kits, Smart Media cards, etc. This year Intenso demonstrated the new series of 52x CD-R media and 800MB 99min CD-R discs.

The company currently offers only DVD-R media and soon it will expand its product line to include DVD+R and DVD+RW discs as well.

Very interesting seems to be the new innovative "Intenso Ejector" packaging system for CD and DVD discs. The company designed a special plastic slim CD/DVD case for disc archiving, offering fast and easy eject of the disc through a simple but very smart "arm". The disc slips out of the plastic case by pressing the arm in the right side of the case. The case is robust and very slim, offering reliable archiving and space saving.

19. LiteON


LiteON introduced the new LTR 52237S CD-RW recorder. The drive offers 52x CD-R and 32x CD-RW writing (CAV), and 52x CD-ROM reading. The drive features the already known Smart-Burn and Smart -X technologies for unproblematic burnings. The supported cache memory is 2MB.

LiteON also offers stylish external CD-RW recorders, as you can see in the following picture. The drive supports 40x CD-R writing and USB2.0 interface.

The first LiteON DVD recorder will be available by May and will support both the DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW recording formats. The drive will support 4x DVD+R/-R, 2.4X DVD+RW and 2X DVD-RW.

The LTC-48161H is a combo CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive, supporting 48x CD-R and 24x CD-RW writing, along with 48x CD-ROM and 16x DVD-ROM reading.

The LiteON Combo drives are also available as external devices. The drive below is an 24x/12x/24x/8x recorder supporting the USB2.0 interface.

The LSC-24081 is a slim 24x CD-R writer and 8x DVD-ROM combo drive for notebooks.

On the company's booths was also demonstrated the stand alone LVD-2001 DVD player, which supports DVD-Video, VCD, SVCD, Audio CD and MP3 playback, along with the MPEG 4 audio format.


20. Maxell


Maxell started business in 1960 in Japan, and initially developed mainly alkaline batteries and floppy discs. The company has also pioneered energy sources powering the latest mobile devices as well as rewritable DVD-RAM and other multimedia innovations. Now is a part of the Hitachi group.

This year the company demonstrated its latest 4x DVD-R and 2x DVD-RW media:

Maxell has already developed new 4x DVD+R and 4x DVD+RW media, which displayed on its booth:

Maxell DVD-RAM discs can hold up to 120min of video. The company also offers double-sided 9.4GB DVD-RAM media for data archiving.

DVD-RAM discs are also available for use in DVD video cameras. In the following picture you can see the DRMS-V28R series media which are double sided rewritable, with capacities of 2.6GB, meaning 30min of high quality video per side.

21. MSI


MSI is mostly known from Mainboard and Graphic card series. However, the company demonstrated a new line of optical storage drives, starting with the new CR52-M 52x CD-RW recorder. The drive also supports 24x CD-RW writing and 52x CD-ROM reading. The same drive is available with an external USB2.0 case, under the codename CRE52-M.

DR4-A is a new dual DVD recorder, supporting 4x DVD+R and 2.4x DVD+RW writing, 4x DVD-R and 2x DVD-RW writing, and 12x DVD-ROM reading. The drive is also a 24x/10x/40x CD-RW recorder. A very interesting feature of the new DR4-A is that it supports the BURN-Proof buffer underun protection, which is licensed by Sanyo, and has an 8MB cache buffer. In the pictures below you can see the drive's main specifications and the a front view of the dual recorder itself:

The new XP48-A model, illustrated below, is a portable combo drive supporting 48x CD-R, 24x CD-RW writing and 48x/16x CD-ROM/DVD-ROM reading. The drive uses the JustLink buffer underun protection, EXACT-Rec which monitors the accuracy of writing and is equipped with a 2MB cache memory. Connection is established through the USB2.0 interface.

22. NEC


NEC demonstrated the latest ND-1300A multi-format DVD Recorder. The drive supports 4x DVD-R and DVD+R writing, 2x DVD-RW and 2.4x DVD+RW recording, and 12x DVD reading. The drive also behaves as a 16x/10x/40x CD-RW recorder. The cache memory of the drive is set to 2MB.

NEC designed and manufactured both the pickup and basic chipset for the ND-1300A. The drive uses two different laser beams for writing on DVD and CD media, while for reading the laser beam is focused on the same lens for all formats.

NEC also demonstrated a single format DVD+R/RW drive. The ND-1100A supports 4x DVD+R and 2.4x DVD+RW writing, and 12x DVD reading. As in the case of the ND-1300A, the drive is also a 16x/10x/40x CD-RW recorder. The ND-1100A is illustrated in the picture below:

The top NEC CD burner is the NR-9300. This supports 48x CD-R and 24x CD-RW writing, and 48x CD-ROM reading.

In the following picture you can see the CD-3002A 52x CD-ROM and the DV-5800C which is a 16x DVD-ROM and 48x CD-ROM.

NEC is among the first companies which launched a DVD+R/RW recorder for notebooks. The ND-5100 supports 4x DVD+R and 2.4x DVD+RW writing, and 8x DVD-ROM reading. For the CD format, the drive offers 24x CD-R writing, 10x rewriting and 24x CD-ROM reading. The supported burst transfer rate is PIO mode 4/Ultra DMA 33 and the average access times for the DVD and CD discs is 150ms and 130ms, respectively.

For sure, the next product is the most exciting demonstrated by NEC this year. This is the first Blue Laser DVD recorder. The technology is being developed jointly by Toshiba and NEC. The capacities that can be archived reach approximately 20GB.

It is not clear when the drive will hit the market. What is sure is that we will have to wait a couple of more years. More information about the new technology will be available soon.

In the following picture you can see the internals of the new (prototype) drive.

23. Panasonic


Panasonic demonstrated the latest DVD-RAM recorder, the LF-D521. The drive supports 2x writing of DVD-R and 4.7GB DVD-RAM media, 1x writing on DVD-RW and 2.6GB DVD-RAM discs, 12x DVD-ROM and 6x DVD-R/RW reading. This multi-recorder supports also 12x CD-R and 8X CD-RW writing, along with 32x CD-ROM/R reading. More information about the drive will be available in one of our upcoming reviews.

The LF-D560 is the external USB 2.0 version of the LF-D521.

Panasonic offers a wide range of DVD-R and DVD-RAM discs. The LM-AD240 series is a 9.4GB double-sided disc, able to hold up to 240min of high quality video. The LM-AB120 offers 4.7GB of capacity and is available with a protective cartridge, while the LM-AF120 4.7GB comes bare.

In the following picture you can see the DMR-E50 DVD Video Recorder. The recorder can write up to 12 hours of movie in EP mode, on 9.4GB DVD-RAM discs. In addition, it can also write up to 6 hours of optimal quality video on DVD-R discs. Playback of DVD-RAM, DVD-R, CD, CD-R/RW and MP3 is included in the capabilities of the DMR-E50.

As many other Panasonic devices, the DMR-E50 supports the "Time Slip" function. This means that user is able to read the data on the DVD-RAM disc although another writing process is still in progress.

The DMR-HS2 DVD Video recorder can store up to 8.5 hours of High Picture Quality video on the 40GB built-in hard disk. The recorder supports all the features already mentioned previously concerning the DMR-E50, and additionally offers a SD card slot in order to copy images from your digital camera to a DVD-RAM or to the hard disk. Recording from your DV camera is also automated and easy to maintain, through the DV input terminal on the front panel of the device.

The NV-HVH1 model, in the picture below, can store your favorite VHS tapes in the built-in 40GB hard disk. The disk can store up to 40 hours of High Fidelity video.

24. Sanyo


It's been quite some time now that Sanyo has not announced any new optical disc drives. But it seems that development of new models of the main components of recorders and readers (such as optical pick up's, mechanisms and chipsets) was, and still is in full progress. Our own information is that a new Sanyo pickup is ready and supports both DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW writing. Sanyo mainly sells its components through OEM channels and currently many manufacturers plan to use it in their upcoming DVD recorders and other combo's.

This year Sanyo demonstrated its latest recorder as a member of the DVD+RW Alliance. Thus, the company chose to exhibit a drive supporting only the DVD+R/RW format in the new CRD-BPDV2. The drive supports 4x DVD+R and 2.4x DVD+RW writing, and 12x DVD reading. For the CD, the CRD-BPDV2 offers 24x/10x/40x CD-R/RW features and the well-known Burn-Proof, FlexSS-BP and Safe-BP. Speculation says that a simple firmware upgrade will enable recording on both formats.

The most interesting feature of the new drive is the so-called "High Density Recording" Technology or HD-BURN. The HD-BURN technology doubles the recording capacity (up to 1.4GB) on conventional CD-R media (700MB)!

The writing speed under the HD-BURN format corresponds to 24x, while the maximum reading speed reaches 72x!! The BURN-Proof is (of course) supported for the HD-BURN writing, in order to prevent buffer underun errors. Recording on CD-RW media is not currently supported but it will be included with a future firmware modification, at a 24x speed under the HD-BURN mode.

Ahead Nero Burning Rom and BHA B's Recorder Gold will support the HD-BURN in future software versions.

The recorded discs are not compatible with current DVD players, but this can be achieved with some simple modification or even with just a firmware update in many cases.

In the following table you can see a brief comparison between the CD and the HD-BURN recording technologies:


HD-BURN improvement ratio (almost twice)

Minimum pit length
0.83 µm
0.62 µm
Track area
1.6 ± 0.1
1.6 ± 0.1
Record area
25mm in radius
25mm in radius
Error correction method
RS-Product Code
Storage capacity

700MB (Type 80)

1400MB (Type 80)

As you can see, in order to achieve such a high density, Sanyo has shortened the pit length, the modulation method is different and more efficient, and the error correction more robust.

25. Prodisc


Prodisc was founded in 1990 in Taiwan and has become one of the top-three disc manufacturers in the world. The company also provides OEM/OMD services for many international brands in the storage media market.

The company demonstrated new 48x and 52x (700MB) CD-R and 8-24x CD-RW media. 8cm CD-R discs were also available, supporting writing speeds up to 24x.

The Prodisc 4x DVD+R media cover both video and data recording. DVD+RW discs are also available, supporting 1x-4x writing speeds.

The Prodisc DVD-R discs are certified by the DVD Forum and support 4x recording speed. Some 8cm DVD-R discs are also available and can hold up to 1.93GB or 30min of high quality video. The DVD-RW line currently supports 2x writing only.

The company also offers both single-sided 4.7GB and double-sided 9.4GB DVD-RAM discs.

26. Plasmon


Plasmon, a leading provider of a wide range of automated data storage solutions, demonstrated this year at CeBIT a working prototype of its new 30GB, Ultra Density Optical (UDO) drives and media. UDO is about to become the next generation standard on 5.25-inch optical drive technology, replacing the existing magneto-optical (MO) base of drives and discs of the same diameter. We were able to see at the company's booth world’s first working blue-violet laser optical disk drive. It supports the new UDO disks and it is developed for professional data storage markets, covering archiving, document imaging, call centers, email archiving, GIS, medical, telecom, banking, insurance, legal and government. The new drive delivers the performance of the older 5.25” MO drives, the longevity of 12-inch True WORM (Write Once Read Many) and the cost effectiveness of a DVD solution.


UDO uses 405nm blue-violet laser and phase change technology adapted from the Blu-Ray DVD-type products. UDO drives operate with a 8KB sector size with direct overwrite capability. When writing data to Rewritable and Write Once media, the UDO drive uses only two passes: write and verify.

Phase Change technology is based on a specially designed recording layer that can exist in both amorphous and crystalline states and is transformed between these two states by the heat from a precision laser. UDO's blue violet laser is focused through a 0.7 numerical aperture (NA) lens, which generates a very small spot on the recording layer, transforming the state of the media and creating a data mark. The same laser operating under a lower power reads these data marks. Phase Change recording is a totally nonmagnetic process, providing very stable data storage that is completely impervious to damage from magnetic field exposure and bit drift.

UDO drives read/write data to the media while spinning at a Constant Angular Velocity (CAV). The drive is capable of managing different data rates as the optical head moves from outside tracks (higher speed) to inside tracks (lower speed).

UDO drives make use of enhanced Reed-Solomon Error Correction Code (ECC) and Erasure Correction algorithms to ensure that data can be accurately read from the media despite physical defects or contamination (defect correction). The combination of these two techniques provides a 4x improvement in ECC handling over MO drives. UDO drives have also implemented an optimized read-ahead defect handling methodology that provides much greater performance when managing secondary media defects.

The media cartridges are dimensionally identical to current 5.25” MO, providing compatibility with the existing 5.25” library automation machines and robotics.

Both WORM and rewritable media will also be available. This first generation product provides 30GB capacity and a fast data transfer rate of up to 8MB/s. Future generations of drives and media will increase the usable capacity of discs to 60GB and 120GB. Backward read capability will be maintained throughout the whole product roadmap.

In the following picture you can see the UDO disc inside the cartridge:

More information about the UDO technology will be available soon from our site.

27. Ritek


Ritek, the biggest Taiwanese optical media manufacturer, demonstrated this year new 52x (700MB) CD-R , 4-24x CD-RW and 92min CD-R media.

Ritek media support 4x DVD writing for both DVD-R and DVD+R formats. The currently available DVD-RW discs can be recorder at 1x and 2x, while the faster recording 4x DVD+RW discs are expected to be launched soon.

The Ritek DVD-RAM line of products includes single-sided 4.7GB and double-sided 9.4GB discs.

28. Verbatim


Verbatim, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Media, provides information storage products, computer and imaging consumables, and related accessories.

Verbatim is currently the only firm in the world that designs, develops and manufactures high performance, high quality CD-Recordable, CD-Rewritable, DVD-Recordable and DVD-ReWritable media products, a complete family of 3.5inch and 5.25inch MO media. Furthermore, the product range includes tapes, imaging products, digital devices and memory cards.

As a core member of the DVD+RW alliance, Verbatim demonstrated a great range of DVD+R and DVD+RW products. The company also supports the DVD-R and DVD-RW format and, of course, it keeps producing high quality CD-R and CD-RW media. In the following picture you can see the Ultra High Speed CD-RW disc which supports 16-24x writing speed.

To enable DVD recording at 4x speed, the parent company Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation has developed a proprietary recording dye technology which is based on the company’s well known Metal AZO dye (which enables DVD+RW recording at 2.4x speed). This new dye, called Advanced AZO is used to produce a recording layer with an improved power margin and greater sensitivity that ensures stability at faster recording speeds.

Advanced AZO maintains the properties of the current Metal AZO dye and therefore can sustain 1x and 2.4x recording, meaning that the new 4x media is backward compatible with earlier drives.

Both Verbatim's 4x DVD+R and 4x DVD-R media are built upon this technology.

In order to facilitate 4x high-speed DVD re-writing, Mitsubishi developed a new technology based on an earlier version of the companies patented SERL (Super Eutectic Recording Layer) technology.

This new improved SERL technology provides consumers with a 50 per cent increase in burn speed. In essence, SERL ensures noise free recording time after time by taking the disc back to its original state. With conventional rewritable media, the recording layer deteriorates with every rewrite, meaning a decrease in quality. With Verbatim rewritable media, however, the recording layer is returned to perfect condition on every erasure, leaving a flawless disk for the next recording. SERL also enables this media to enjoy excellent archival stability and high-speed recording.

In the following picture you can see the Verbatim 4x DVD+RW media, available by June 2003. In addition 4x DVD-RW should already be available at your local stores.

Verbatim offers all types of DVD-RAM media. In the following pictures you can see the 4.7GB and 9.4GB double-sided media.

29. Samsung


Samsung demonstrated its latest CD-RW recorder, the SW-252. The drive supports 52x write, 24x rewrite and 52x read.

The Samsung DVD Multi Recorder SR-T03 supports 2x DVD-R, 1x DVD-RW, and 2x DVD-RAM writing speeds. The supporting reading speeds are 2x for DVD-RAM, 6x for DVD-R/RW and 12x DVD-ROM. In addition, the drive is a 12x/8x/32x CD-RW recorder.

In the following picture you can see the SD-816 Multi-Read DVD-ROM drive, which supports 16x DVD and 48x CD reading. The drive reads DVD-R/RW, DVD-ROM and DVD-RAM discs.

Samsung has also developed fast CD-RW/DVD combo drives. The SM-352 illustrated below is a 52x/24x/52x CD-RW plus a 16x DVD-ROM:

The SN-324 slim drive for notebooks combines CD-RW and DVD-ROM drives into one mechanism. The recorder supports 24x writing, 10x rewriting, 24x reading and 8x DVD-ROM reading.

30. SKC


SKC, the well known Korean media manufacturer, demonstrated new 52x CD-R (700MB) and 24x CD-RW media.

The company supports the newest 4x DVD-R writing speed with the latest media, showed below. DVD-RW discs are also available.

The DVD+R/RW media line currently supports the 2.4x recording speed, but the company plans to upgrade to 4x in the following months, as soon as the 4x DVD+R/RW recorders become widely available.

31. Sony


Sony demonstrated the already known DRU-500AX and its external brother DRX-510ULX. Both drives offer the same advanced specifications, while the external drive supports both USB 2.0 and and iLink interfaces.

The new DRX500ULX burns DVD+R, DVD+RW, and even CD-R/CD-RW discs:

- High speed writing on 6 formats: DVD+RW 2.4x, DVD+R 4x, DVD-RW 2x, DVD-R 4x, CD-RW 10x, and CD-R 24x

- Easy high speed connectivity with desktop or mobile PCs with i.Link and USB 2.0.

The DRU-500AX is currently available in a suggested price of approximately € 400, while the DRX-500ULX at € 600.

Sony also demonstrated a stand alone DVD recorder. The SONY RDR-GX7 is a dual RW compatible drive, offering both DVD+RW and DVD-RW/-R recording, (DVD+R excluded) and high speed playback compatible with existing DVD Players.

The user can easily connect his Camcorder through the @i.LINK (DV terminal) and perform directly various editing functions. Other interesting features of the RDR-GX7 is the High Picture Quality mode, the Pre Frame Noise Reduction system, and the Post Field Noise Reduction . The device is also equipped with a 12bit/108MHz Noise Shaped Video D/A Converter and RGB input. The RDR-GX7 will be available across Europe from April 2003 onwards.

32. Teac


Teac entered the DVD recording market with the new DV-W50E. The drive supports 4x DVD-R, 2x DVD-RW writing, and 12x DVD-ROM reading. The CD functions are 16x CD-R, 8x CD-RW and 32x CD-ROM. The drive is also available ns an external USB 2.0/1.1 version, with the codename DV-W50PUK.

In the following picture you can see the fastest external USB 2.0 CD-RW drive from Teac. The CD-W552PUK is a 52x/24x/52x CD-RW recorder, already familiar to some of you from its ATAPI brother, the CD-W552E.

The DW-224E is a new portable CD-RW/ DVD-ROM combo drive. The drive supports 24x CD-R, 10x CD-RW writing, and 24x CD-R/ROM reading. The DW-224E can be connected to your PC through the USB 2.0 interface.

Teac demonstrated a new line of external USB 2.0 hard Disk drives. The available capacities start from 40GB up to 120GB. The USB 2.0 interface offers 480MB/s, allowing fast transfer of large files between multiple systems. The HD-35PUK is showed below.

33. Toshiba


Toshiba demonstrated a new DVD-R/RW recorder. The SD-R5112 supports 4x DVD-R, 2x DVD-RW writing and 12x DVD-ROM reading. The drive also reads DVD-RAM discs at 2x, and DVD-R/RW at 4.8x. Concerning the CD format, the SD-R5112 is also a 16x/10x/40x CD-RW drive.

The SD-R6012 is a slim line DVD-R/RW recorder for notebooks. The drive supports 1x DVD-R/RW , 16x CD-R and 10x CD-RW writing. The available reading speeds are 8x DVD-ROM, 24x CD-ROM and 2x DVD-RAM Ver. 2.1/1.0.

USB Card readers and PCMCIA hard disk drives are also included in the Toshiba product line. The PCMCIA 1.8-inch hard disk is a compact card, allowing storage of up to 2GB or 5GB of memory. The size of the card offers very high portability and easy carrying even in your pocket! The average seek time is only 15msec and maximum operating shock 200G.

34. Nero


As it was also the case with last year, Ahead had a truly multithreaded presence on this year's show. One could see stands presenting to the public the whole suite of the Ahead products in several booths of the hardware manufacturers.

Nero Vision Express 2.0 is a major upgrade to the company's video authoring application. It is a comprehensive high-end DVD authoring and editing tool that takes the complexity out of any video creation. It offers full DVD/VCD/SVCD authoring, editing, and recording capabilities. Importing, editing, and burning directly to disc are all extensively integrated as part of the advanced DVD+R/RW (+VR) support incorporated in this program.

Quality enhancements have also been made to Nero's famous MPEG-2 encoder enabling real-time speed with little or no sacrifice in quality. Animated menus and buttons, background music, in-depth photo imaging, cropping, image manipulation, filters, text, storyboard and transition effects, splitting, cutting, chapter changing, menu editing, and an array of other features are all available to let users create magic movies.

InCD, a proactive CD/DVD packet writing application, has been upgraded to version 4. This proprietary application was developed by Ahead's engineers to raise the bar on packet writing. Geared toward OEMs, InCD 4's auto-detect, hot-plugging and Plug and Play features make installation and use easier than any previous packet writing application. InCD 4's auto-detect feature uses a generic core code, bypassing ID string lists specific to recorders, allowing packet writing immediately after the software or recorder is installed. Minimum drive requirements are an MMC compliant drive hosting: "read"; "write"; "get drive status"; "get disc info"; and "get drive info" operations. In addition, hot-plugging and Plug and Play are supported by InCD 4 to simplify installation even further.

In addition, InCD 4 supports fast user switching under Windows XP with full OS integration and minimal graphical user interface. Basic recording operations are available via the right-click menu under the Windows Explorer property page when the optical recorder is highlighted. You can also ( optionally) access the program's functions by right-clicking on a tray bar icon. It is also possible to Eject/Re-load via Windows Explorer and to hard eject via the eject button on the recorder under all operating systems.

Other features include an Easy Write Reader on MRW (Mount-Rainier) discs and a local html is available to inform users in case the operating system is not Mt. Rainier compatible. A localized html information page on legacy discs can be read on all systems that do not have a UDF reader driver. InCD 4 fully supports CD-RW, CD-MRW, DVD+RW, DVD+MRW, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM (available Q2/03) formats, including support for Low/High/Ultra Speed CD-RW (21/74/80 min discs). It is also fully compliant with the UDF 1.50 standard in legacy mode, the UDF 1.02 standard, the Mt Rainier specification, and fully read or write compatible with InCD 3.x discs (legacy and Mt Rainier).

Nero ShowTime - a complete solution for the playback of DVD movies, video files and Nero Digital, the new standard in MPEG-4 audio video compression. ShowTime supports a multitude of formats such as DVD-Video, VCD 2.0, Mini-DVD, and Nero Digital. Nero ShowTime brings a new viewing and listening experience to any PC.

Along with full DXVA and power management support, ShowTime has superior quality ISO-compliant MPEG decoding, advanced adaptive de-interlacing for best possible picture quality from interlaced DVD's (such as DVD's made from home video or TV show DVD titles), full screen/scalable video window with customizable on-screen display, AC3 5.1 channel Dolby Digital, SP-DIF digital output, and a host of other options.

Expected to be ready for prime time in Q2, Nero ShowTime will form part of an integrated 'one-stop' OEM DVD software suite, which will include NeroVision Express 2.0, InCD 4.0, Nero Burning ROM and/or Nero Express, and Nero BackItUp

Linking the Nero applications together will be Nero SmartStart, an intelligent task and application launcher that goes further than any other toolbar seen before. Fully customizable and featuring standard/advanced modes, Nero SmartStart lets you access any Nero application and guides you to success in a single click. We were presented a preview of this feature but, unfortunately, we were not allowed to photograph it :(

35. TraxData


Traxdata is among the companies who demonstrated a 52x/32/53x CD-RW recorder, showed below:

The RW 1100 DVD+R/RW supports 2.4x DVD+RW writing, 12x DVD-ROM reading and 16x CD-R recording.

The company offers 52x , and 90min 24x CD-R CD-R media.

Traxdata also demonstrated 2.4x DVD+RW and 4x DVD- R media.


36. Pinnacle


To be included soon...

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