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Panasonic Develops Worlds First Chipset for Blu-ray

BD Drive Can Record and Play Blu-ray Disc (BD), DVD, and CD Media Formats

Osaka, JapanPanasonic, the leading brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is best known, today announced that it has developed the new chipset for disc drives to record and play Blu-ray Disc (BD), DVD-Multi (DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, and DVD-ROM), +R, +RW, and all CD formats. Blu-ray Disc format, which use a blue-violet laser, is being promoted as a standard for next-generation optical discs. So far chipsets for BD-R/BD-RE and DVD/CD were commercialized separately. However, the demand for a BD drive that is compatible with all BD/DVD/CD media formats increases. The chipset achieves the industry’s highest record/play BD performance. BD drives with DVD record/play and CD record/play functions can be easily manufactured.

Panasonic will start sample shipments in December 2005 and mass production in January 2006.

Advantages
This chipset is in accordance with BD and DVD/CD standards, and consists of two chips: a front-end processor for analog processing such as servo control and laser power control, and a optical disc controller for signal processing as digital lead channel. The advantages are as follows:

  1. Can be easily applied to PCs, which require compatibility with multiple media formats, by following the newest BD standards, including BD-ROM standards, and by making hybrid discs using conventional media.
  2. World’s first chipset that has perfect record/play compatibility among the BD, DVD-Multi, +R, +RW, and CD formats. Chipset also features the industry’s highest record/play performance (BD media record/play speed: 4x).
  3. As for PC interface, the new chipsets have a series of part numbers which are applicable for either ATAPI or Serial-ATA.

Technologies
The new chipset was achieved by applying the following technologies:

  1. BD/DVD hybrid digital lead channel technology using Matsushita’s original PRML method
  2. Highly accurate write strategy technology and high-speed signal processing technology for high-density and high-speed media
  3. Built-in Serial-ATA core developed by Matsushita (conforms to Serial-ATA 1.0a standard)

Practical Applications
Start of sample shipments: December 2005
Sample price: Depends on quantity
Start of product shipments: January 2006

Patent
Domestic patents: 247 Overseas patents: 315 (Including pending applications)

Best known by its Panasonic brand name, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of US$81.44 billion for the year ended March 31, 2005. The company’s shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, New York (NYSE:MC), Euronext Amsterdam and Frankfurt stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company’s website at http://panasonic.co.jp/global/index.html.

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