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Taiwan makers in no rush to produce blue-laser discs

CMC Magnetics and Ritek, the top two Taiwan-based producers of optical discs, as well as Prodisc Technology, a second-tier maker, are unwilling to invest in large-scale production of either Blu-ray Disc (BD) or HD DVD discs, according to industry sources in Taiwan, report DigiTimes.

The disc manufacturers are reluctant to invest in blue-laser disc production because royalty fees are high and there is the possibility that the cost of production equipment may drastically drop in the future, noted the sources, adding that it is still uncertain which standard will become mainstream.

CMC is technologically capable of making BD and HD DVD discs, but will not set up volume production capacity until global demand takes off, according to company chairman Robert Wong.

Ritek has obtained certification for both BD and HD DVD discs, but currently focuses production on the relatively highly profitable DVD+R/-R DL (single-sided double-layer) discs, company CEO Gordon Yeh pointed out. However, Ritek has used existing equipment for production of DVD discs to turn out HD DVD discs in small volumes for some clients, Yeh noted.

Prodisc has also utilized existing DVD manufacturing equipment to produce HD DVD discs in small volumes, company chairman Ming-fa Lin pointed out.

Due to the conservative attitude of leading Taiwanese makers, Japan-based makers, including Sony, Matsushita Electric Industrial, TDK and Mitsubishi Kagaku Media, will dominate the global production of BD and/or HD DVD discs, the sources pointed out.

Story filed 30.11.07

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