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Tosh develops combo CD/DVD drive

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Toshiba has developed a product that combines a CD rewritable drive with DVD storage. Toshiba's new SD-R1002 drive, classified as a 4x-4x-24x model, reads and writes CD-RW and CD-R media at 4x speeds, reads DVD-ROMs at 4x speeds, and reads CD-ROM discs at a 24x clip. DVD-ROM seek times still somewhat longer than CD-ROM: 140ms compared to 105ms. DVD has become hugely popular during the last year, as has the CD-RW format, according to Kathy Longfellow, a senior product marketing manager at Toshiba. "However, our customers have been forced to choose between technologies," she says. Toshiba will use the retail market as a testing ground for the new product before it ships to OEMs in Q4. The company hopes it will prove popular enough to prompt several design wins. Mary Bourdon, an analyst at Dataquest, expects Toshiba to licence the technology, in particular the combination read head, which can process the different light wavelengths generated by the CD and DVD formats. The kit will certainly ship for less than $400, according to Toshiba. But analysts feel that a sub-$300 or even sub $200 price tag would be better. ®

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