Philips is the largest DVD recorder chip supplier to Taiwan. Cirrus Logic, ranked the second, has gained market share by pricing its integrated MPEG-2 chips up to US$5 cheaper than its competitors, sources said.
Demand for DVD recorder chips has grown significantly as prices for DVD recording devices continue to drop. FOB (free on board) prices for digital video recorders (DVRs) offered by Taiwanese companies have dropped to below US$250 recently, while the retail prices have plunged below US$300 compared to US$500 in the first half of this year, according to sources. Taiwan is expected to ship up to 800,000 DVRs this year, according to estimates by Taiwanese optical storage makers.
Anticipating robust growth of the market, major international DVD chip suppliers estimate that their monthly DVD recorder chip shipments to Taiwan will each exceed 200,000 units in the first half of 2004.
Sales in the second half of next year, however, appear to be less optimistic as many Taiwanese chip suppliers are expected to join the competition during the period, the international suppliers said.
According to sources, Philips’s monthly DVD recorder chip shipments to Taiwan first surpassed 100,000 units in the second quarter of this year. Cirrus Logic, which started shipments in June, is estimated to have shipped about 500,000 DVD recorder chips until the end of November.
Thanks to orders from Taiwan-based optical storage drive maker Lite-On IT, LSI’s monthly DVD recorder chip shipments to Taiwan also reached 100,000 units early this quarter, sources said. LSI announced its deal with Lite-On IT in a press release on December 1. According to sources, Lite-On IT is taking over 10,000 of the chips per month from LSI.
ESS’s Taiwan DVD recorder chip shipments are expected to total 500,000 units during the second half of this year, sources said. In addition, the company is shipping over 10,000 of the chips to South Korea-based Samsung Electronics per month, sources said. Samsung has adopted ESS’s system-on-chip (SoC) DVD chip for its DVD-VHS combo players, according to previous press release from ESS.