NEC Electronics ships dual-format DVD chip

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AVClub Fanatic
17 June 2006

TOKYO, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Japanese chip maker NEC Electronics Corp. (6723.T: Quote, NEWS, Research) said on Tuesday it began shipping a chip compatible with both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats in next-generation DVDs, bridging a format war splitting the electronics industry in two.
If other hybrid technology is developed, the new chip could lower costs to build dual-format players, helping consumers and the movie industry sidestep the rivalry between the two opposing camps.
The chips go on sale for 10,000 yen ($84), roughly the same price as NEC Electronics' chips which read only Blu-ray or only HD DVD formats, the world's No. 8 chip maker said.
NEC Electronics targets monthly shipments of 300,000 during the business year starting April 2007.

A group of companies led by Sony Corp. (6758.T: Quote, NEWS, Research) are promoting the Blu-ray format as the next-generation optical disc standard, while Toshiba Corp. (6502.T: Quote, NEWS, Research) is a leading proponent of the rival HD DVD technology.
Still missing from the dual player equation is optical pick-up technology to read and play back both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats.
The chip and the optical pick-up lens together can make up more than half the cost of a DVD player, said NEC Electronics spokesman Hisashi Saito.
NEC Electronics shares closed up 3.6 percent at 4,040 yen, outperforming the Nikkei average, which nudged up 0.25 percent.