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December 28, 1996 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG Commercializes CD-R Compatible DVD Pickup

.First single-lens version.
.Decisive technology for marketing DVD-ROM.
.Mass production to begin in February 1997.

(SEOUL, Korea) - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SEC) has recently commerciali zed a backward compatible optical DVD pickup which can also read compact discs (CDs), and CD-recordable (CD-R) discs. While CD-R discs are spreading worldwide, attention has lately focused on DVD-ROM which will be the next-generation optica l memory device used in PCs. The DVD-ROM drive market is expected to emerge worldwide next year, but the success or failure of the product hinges on the capability to playback CD-R discs. With so much at stake, Samsung's commercialization of the new pickup is very important.

Samsung engineers added a holographic optical element and 780nm wavelength laser diode to the company's unique annular masked single-lens pickup, and thus succeeded in reading CD-R as well as DVD and CD discs with a single optical pickup.
The device has many advantages in addition to its improved functions. The cost increase is small; the architecture is simple and assembly is easy, facilitating miniaturization. Optical efficiency is high, so this technology can be adapted for DVD-RAM as well. In fact, it can be used with virtually all optical recording and playback systems.

To date, no company has commercialized an optical pickup that can playback both DVD and CD-R discs. The currently available DVD pickups that can playback compact discs have various approaches to the task, but they all use laser diodes with the DVD standard 650nm wavelength as the light source. CD-R discs only respond to 780nm wavelength and current DVD pickups cannot be used to playback CD-R discs.
In October several leading companies simultaneously completed development of commercially viable DVD-Video players. Samsung Electronics has put its version on the market in November. Now, Samsung haes managed to be first in developing a DVD/CD optical pickup that playbacks even CD-R discs, solidifying the company'sposition in DVD pickup technology.Five patents are pending for this latest technology, and Samsung Electronicsalready has 11 patents for its annular mask format. The competitiveness of Samsung's DVD products has been improved. Mass production of the new pickup is scheduled to begin next February, by which time the function of the actuator component will be greatly improved. The pickup will be adaptable to CD-ROM drivers that operate at 16X speed or faster.Samsung Electronics Company Ltd., a US$21 billion flagship company of US$87 billion, Korean-based Samsung Group, is a world leader in the electronics sector, with operations in more than 60 countries. The company develops, manufacturesand markets audio and video products, household electronics goods, computers and peripheral products, display products, telecommunications and informative systems, software tools and semiconductors.

CD-recordable (CD-R):
A CD-ROM format, with 650 megabytes of memory, that enables you to record data onto compact discs so that regular CD-ROM drives can read it. With a CD-R drive, you can record data onto a recordable disc on different occasions, known toexperts as multiple sessions. As PCs become multimedia capable, they have rapidly become a popular storage medium around the world.

DVD Variations:
Officially, DVD does not stand for anything; it is simply the name adopted for a family of related optical disc formats. Five variations of DVD are introduced below:

.DVD-ROM: a high capacity data storage medium, similar to CD-ROM;
.DVD-Video: a specific application of DVD designed to deliver (mainly) linear motion picture content;
.DVD-Audio: a specific application of DVD designed for audio-only uses (similar to CD-Audio);
.DVD-R (Recordable): a variatio

The basic capabilities that DVD-ROM brings are a large storage capacity, from 4.7 gigabytes (single layer single sided) to 17 gigabytes (dual layer double sided); a fast transfer rate; and the potential for faster access speed and layerto layer access jumps.The spin speed of the single layer disc is a constant linear velocity of 3.49 meters/ second, slower than today's multi-speed CD-ROM drives. The user data read rate is 11.08 Mb/s (Megabits per second) with an audio/video media payload of 9.8 Mb/s or 1.225 MB/s (about equal to an 8X CD-ROM). The difference is due to a shorter wavelength laser (650 nanometers) and denser pits, which are as small as 0.40 micrometers for single layer discs, 10% bigger if double layer is used;and the track pitch is only 0.74 micrometers.

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