Philips, Benq partner on optical storage

Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV and Benq are to work together on development of optical storage products, initially focusing on DVD+RW (DVD+rewritable) drives, the companies announced Monday.

Together, the companies think they can bring faster DVD+RW products and other new optical storage products to market before the competition, Philips of Amsterdam and Benq of Taipei said in a joint statement.

The alliance will see Philips work on innovations and new storage concepts, while Benq will focus on delivering speed improvements once the technologies mature, the companies said.

Philips and Benq will establish a design house to develop next generation DVD+RW products using Philips' reference designs, chipsets and other components. The resulting products will be manufactured in Philips and Benq factories, and marketed and sold independently by both companies. The first products from the partnership are expected in 2003, following a Philips launch of these products this year, the companies said.

DVD+RW is a standard for recording data and video on optical discs backed by a variety of vendors including Philips, Dell Computer Corp. and Thomson Multimedia SA. It faces competition from another format, the DVD-RW standard, which is being pushed by the DVD Forum and vendors including Pioneer Corp.

Benq is the new name for Acer Communications & Multimedia Inc.

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