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Kenwood debuts 52x CD-ROM drive

TrueX technology makes for faster, quieter drives

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Kenwood Technologies has announced a 52x CD-ROM drive. The drive actually runs at 9x speed, but uses a multiple-beam laser that reads six tracks of data simultaneously to generate an effective speed of 52x. That translates into a data throughput of 6.7MBps to 7.8MBps. The drive spins at a range of speeds to ensure a constant linear velocity (CLV) to ensure those rates are consistent wherever the data being read resides on the disc. Regular drives spin at a constant angular velocity (CAV), so the linear velocity of the disc, and thus the speed at which data can be read, slows as the laser moves away from the edge of the disc. Kenwood licensed this technology from Zen Research, which announced the system, called TrueX, last summer. Zen originally claimed a 40x speed for TrueX drives, and some units operating at that speed were announced. The new Kenwood drive uses an upgraded version of TrueX that not only boosts the speed but includes improved ASICs and firmware, and adds the ability to read CD-RW discs. The drive will initially be released as an ATAPI unit, but Kenwood said it will soon offer a SCSI version. ®

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