The DVD recorder market is beginning its takeoff, attracting chipmakers who want to help fuel what’s expected to become a huge marketplace. Smaller packages, improved performance and lower prices are the benefits of new chipsets.
Shipments of DVD recorders more than doubled last year, and should continue rising rapidly to hit 52 million in 2007, according to In-Stat/MDR of Scottsdale, AZ. The research firm predicts that DVD player shipments will begin to decline this year as consumers turn to recorders.
Focusing on small size and reduced parts counts, LSI Logic Corp. is combining all electronic components into a chipset that only requires two external parts: DRAM and flash memory. LSI’s Dimension-3 can reduce the bill of materials by up to $20 over previous generation chipsets while also adding data compression capability.
The chip can work with all popular types of rewritable media. Though there are a number of different techniques for writing to DVDs, “it doesn’t make a lot of difference to us which laser people use,” says Jim Fox, LSI’s marketing director for DVD products.
LSI’s Dimension-3 chipset provides substantial benefits over products that were available last year.
The chips handle MPEG -4 encoding, compressing files so end users can record up to 12 hours on a disk. That’s double the six-hour maximum for most currently available disks. The line also lets users record in multiple audio formats and lets DVD recorders connect to HDTV-ready televisions.
In another announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month, Zoran Corp. of Sunnyvale, CA announced that its Activa MPEG encoder and Vaddis multimedia processor are shipping in the new DVD recorder/VCR package unveiled by Pioneer Electronics. The two chips make it possible to watch programming while it’s being recorded.
Though it didn’t unveil a new device, MIPS Technologies Inc. of Mt. View, CA, announced that its processor architecture is used by nearly two thirds of the DVD recorders now shipping, a contention supported by analysts at In-Stat/MDR. 32- and 64-bit CPUs from MIPS and licensees including Philips, NEC, and Toshiba are used in a number of video-oriented consumer products, the company notes.