Panasonic unveils a Blu-ray with DVD and CD combo drive
Tech giant Panasonic has revealed that they have developed a new chipset that will enable optical disc drives to play and record DVDs and CDs as well as Blu-ray (BD) discs. Panasonic is a leading backer of the Sony’s developed Blu-Ray DVD format, which is battling Toshiba’s HD DVD format to become the standard for next generation DVD drives.
The chipset developed by Panasonic is the first of its kind to combine support for multiple DVD (RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-ROM, DVD+R, DVD+RW) and all CD formats with BD. This compatibility has been said to be required to market the Blu-Ray DVD format as a potential replacement for DVD Drives for the Personal Computer market.
Panasonic’s chipset combines two chips: a front-end processor for analog processing such as servo control and laser power control, and an optical disc controller for signal processing as digital lead channel. It also includes a series of part numbers for either ATAPI or Serial-ATA interfaces. The company plans to market the sample shipments sometime in December this year and the production is expected to begin sometime next year.
The competition for Blu-Ray format, HD DVD backers have developed a format, which is able to read both DVDs and CDs. However, they are yet to release any information on whether the new drives would be able to write on the older formats.