Samsung unveils fast CD/DVD combo drive

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. unveiled Thursday a speedy new optical disc drive that should mean users spend less time waiting for data to be read from or written to optical discs.

The SM-332 drive, which was announced at the CeBIT electronics show in Hanover, Germany, is capable of writing CDs at 32X normal speed, or 4.8M bytes per second. This means the drive is capable of completely writing a 650M byte CD in around three minutes, the company said.

The drive can rewrite discs at 10X normal speed, or 1.5M bytes per second, and features a fast read speed of 40X normal, or 6M bytes per second, for CDs and 12X normal, or 16.2M bytes per second, for DVDs. This combination of speeds makes the drive one of the fastest CD/DVD combo drives yet announced by any manufacturer.

The drive also supports Mount Rainier technology, according to the Seoul-based company. Promoted by Compaq Computer Corp., Microsoft Corp., Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV and Sony Corp., the technology adds support for data storage on CD-RW into the operating system and is intended to make using rewritable optical discs more like using floppies. The system is built into the Windows XP operating system.

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Martyn Williams

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