First published 24 January, 1997
The European DVD-ROM market will be five per cent - or 900,000 units - of the CD-ROM market by the end of the year, according to a report by Hitachi and market analyst IDC. By 1998, it will grow to 15 per cent, or three million units, and by 2001 the bulk of the CD-ROM market will be overtaken by the emerging technology.
"For two to three years there will be a viable market for CD-ROM and DVD-ROM," said Peter Scatchard, Hitachi's marketing manager for the information equipment division. "It will be horses for courses."
Separately, the Japanese giant mapped out its strategy for future drives. Production of eight-speed CD-ROM drives will continue until the end of this quarter. The 16MaX 12-speed CD-ROM drive will be produced up to the middle of the fourth quarter. DVD-ROM drives will hit the market next month, and DVD-RAM drives will sample at the end of the year. A new line of 20-speed CD-ROM drives, the Slot 20X and Slim 20X, will appear in the second quarter of this year.
The 20X is Hitachi's first full Constant Angular Velocity (CAV) CD-ROM drive, which means the device has a fixed spin speed, and the data transfer rate rises as the read head moves outwards. The Slim 20X is a 0.5-inch thick notebook drive with average access time of 150ms, a 256Kb buffer and consuming between 0.1Watt and 3Watt of power.
Toshiba showed a DVD-ROM drive at the Las Vegas Comdex trade show in November last year, but has no plans at the moment to launch a DVD-ROM drive in the UK, said a spokeswoman. However, it launched the Infinia 7220 PC last week in the US which features a DVD drive, and will produce several more DVD-ready machines in the US for the spring.