More on Notebook DVD-RW Mechanisms

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Date: Tuesday, November 12th, 2002, 01:00
Category: Archive

Apple DVD-RW

The new PowerBook G4 line offers the industry’s first slot-load SuperDrive for burning CDs and DVDs but it is unclear which mechanism Apple is using. The part is listed in Apple’s database as #661-1804 DVD-R/CD-RW (Apple SuperDrive).

The first SuperDrive was announced by Apple in January 2001 and shipped only in the 733MHz PowerMac G4. That mechanism was developed by Pioneer New Media Technologies and is based on Pioneer’s DVR-103. The raw mechanism is sold as the Pioneer DVR-A03 DVD-R drive. Pioneer has also sells the DVR-103 to Compaq as a build-to-order option in the Compaq Presario 7000. Apple’s DVD-R media is also OEM’d from Pioneer.

The Pioneer DVR-A04 offers only minor improvements over its DVR-A03 (a.k.a. the Apple SuperDrive) predecessor, but the DVR-A04’s DVD-R media is the most compatible of all the recordable/rewritable formats. The Pioneer DVR-A04 is OEM’d by Apple, Compaq, Fujitsu, HP, and IBM.

The Pioneer DVR-A04/104 drives are also used by Apple in their newer desktop G4s and iMac SuperDrives.

Other DVD-RW

The Toshiba SD-R6012 slim-drive supports writing DVD-R/RW at 1X, writing CD-R/RW at 16x/10x, and reads 8X DVD and 24X CD.

The SD-R6012 is supposed to the be the basic mechanism being used by Apple in the 2002 (4Q) PowerBook G4 but this is unconfirmed.

The Panasonic UJ-815 (2x DVD-R) has been shown at CEATEC 2002 in Japan. It has been in manufacturing since July.

The Sony GRX600 notebook’s DVD-RW writes at 1x.

Pioneer’s latest drive for the desktop is DVR-105RZ, the slim one is DVR-K11RZ and is 4x DVD-R write but it is not slot-loading. When a colleague (Nobi) asked a Pioneer representative in their booth he replied it is possible to make a slot loading drive “if there is a demand.”

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