Kenwood launches 72x CD unit

Final fling before DVD becomes standard?

Japanese electronics giant Kenwood today unveiled a 72x CD-ROM drive in a last ditch attempt to sell fast CD units before DVD-ROM becomes the PC standard. The internal 72x unit is based on US developer Zen Research's TrueX technology, which equips a slower drive with multiple lasers. Since more data is read in a given time -- more than six bits can be read simultaneously -- the drive appears to run faster than in fact it does. The drives spin at a range of speeds to ensure a constant linear velocity (CLV) to allow the lasers to rates read data at consistent rate wherever they're stored 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. Earlier this year, Kenwood released its first TrueX drive, a 40x unit. It quickly boosted the drive's speed to 52x. Kenwood said the drive would ship initially in Japan for Y25000 ($239). ®

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