New Blu-ray burner from Optiarc
Optiarc, the optical storage technology joint venture between Sony and NEC, recently announced their first Blu-ray burner for PC’s. This internal PC drive is named the Optiarc BD-M100A and will be able to write single layer BD-R media at up to 8x speeds. The drive will also support dual layer BD-R burning, DVD burning and CD-R burning.
â€œThrough the joining of NEC and Sonyâ€™s optical storage businesses we can actually manufacture both Blu-ray and HD DVD products,â€ he said. â€œHowever, at the moment, we are being asked for Blu-ray burners from customers, which is what weâ€™re focusing on.â€
With the launch of this new Optiarc drive, we will now have Blu-ray burners available from 5 different manufacturers (Panasonic, LG, Pioneer, LiteOn and Optiarc). HD DVD burners are still conspicuously absent from the consumer market. Everyone expects to see Toshiba HD DVD burners appear in the near future, but the release of these drives has been delayed multiple times. LiteOn is rumored to be working on their own HD DVD-R burners as well.
It is very interesting to hear that Optiarc has not completely ruled out HD DVD drive manufacturing, as I had assumed that they would not support HD DVD whatsoever do to the close affiliation with Sony Corporation, who is the largest backer of the Blu-ray format. The relationship with Sony has definitely impacted NEC’s (Optiarc) HD DVD plans in some ways though. At CES 2006, I noticed quite a few NEC HD DVD readers and burners on display, which have yet to make an appearance or be announced for the consumer market.
UPDATE: Thanks to Ian at CDRLabs for letting us know that this Optiarc Blu-ray drive is actually just a Panasonic rebadge! You would think that an optical drive joint venture between Sony and NEC could come up with their own unique drive design, but that is not the case as of yet.