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Panasonic preps Blu-ray, DVD, CD chip

Writes any format... except HD DVD

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Panasonic will next month begin sampling what it claims is the first optical drive control chipset capable of writing to any recordable or re-writeable disc format. Well, all except HD DVD, that is.

No great surprise there, since Panasonic parent Matsushita has its feet firmly in the Blu-ray camp - unlike, it seems, HP. Panasonic's chipset comprises a chip to handle the analogue mechanics - the servo and laser control, for example - and a second to do the appropriate digital signal processing.

Among the latter's duties are format support, for which Panasonic lists BD-ROM, BD-R/RE, DVD±R/RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-ROM, CD-R/RW and CD-ROM.

The chipset uses both the Partial Response (PR) and Maximum Likelihood (ML) error-correction techniques to minimise the effect of the noise in a fast-moving optical pick-up system, Panasonic said.

The chipset, which will be offered in ATAPI and Serial ATA versions, will be made available as engineering samples in December, with mass-production commencing in January 2006, Panasonic said. ®

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