NEC Electronics announced today that it has developed a new System-on-a-Chip (SoC) for DVD writers. The SCOMBO 8 integrates DVD drive control logic, synchronous DRAM, and flash memory all in a compact 14mm square flat package. It is also the first DVD controller to support 24x DVD recording and uses 50% less power than NEC's previous products when writing at 8x.
NEC Electronics Corporation today announced that it has developed a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) product integrating all the functionalities needed for DVD writing and reading on a single chip. The new product named SCOMBO® 8 is a SoC for supporting DVD Drives equipped in PCs and home write/read appliances and has following features: (1) Integrates DVD drive control logic, synchronous DRAM, and flash memory all in a compact 14mm square flat package; (2) Delivers industry's fastest 24x DVD writing; (3) Lowers power consumption during DVD writing at 8x speed to 0.8W, reducing by 50 percent compared to the previous products.
The new product allows DVD drive manufacturers to reduce external components by 20 to 30 percent and facilitates low-cost system development with less than 100 materials. The market for CD-ROM, DVD, Blu-ray, and other optical disc drives for PCs is estimated at about 300 million per year. DVD drives account for about 80 percent of this market, with steady growth expected in the years ahead.
NEC Electronics launched a SoC with built-in DVD reading and CD write/read functionality for PC optical disc drives. Since then, the company has continuously worked to expand its product lineup, selling a cumulative 180 million products in the SCOMBO series by December 2008.
Optical disc drives in the PC market can be divided into two types, according to the height of the drive case: half-height drives or slim drives. In half-height drives, users expect higher writing speeds, while in slim drives they expect lower power consumption. In addition, users of both types seek to cut their bill of materials costs by reducing the number of components on system boards.
The new product meets all of these requirements by delivering integrated functionality, higher writing speeds, and lower power consumption. The main features of the SCOMBO 8 are as follows:
- (1) Industry's smallest package combining the functionality required for DVD drives
The new product integrates functionalities such as servo control circuit that controls the optical pickup, data modulation/demodulation circuit, digital read channel function, and write strategy circuit. It also provides analog circuits to process the output signals of the optical pickup, CPUs, and a serial ATA interface all on a single chip. In addition to these control circuits, the new product also includes 16 Mbit SDRAM and 16 Mbit flash memory, all in a compact 14mm square package. The new product is the world's smallest SoC to integrate these functions all in a single package.
In addition to the smallness of the package itself, SCOMBO 8 also allows users to reduce the number of components required to develop the system by 20 to 30 percent, bringing the component count to below 100 and delivering substantial savings in mounting surface and total system cost.
- (2) Industry's first DVD controller to support 24x DVD recording
By adopting BiCMOS process, both analog and digital circuits can be optimized by implementing high-speed bipolar process into analog circuits and implementing CMOS process with outstanding power quality into logic circuits. As a result, these advances make it possible to achieve 24x DVD writing for the first time in the industry.
- (3) Reduced power consumption during DVD 8x recording by 50 percent (compared to company's previous products)
The product has a number of improvements, including lowered internal voltage from 1.5V to 1.0V achieved through 90nm process, and optimized functional blocks including the CPU. These improvements enabled the new product to reduce power consumption during 8x DVD writing by 50 percent (0.8W) compared to the company's previous SCOMBO products.
NEC Electronics believes the SCOMBO 8 to play a significant role in digital AV equipments and plans to market this product actively in fields of optical disc drives with DVD write/read control functionalities.
Pricing and Availability
The sample price of the new product is US$10 per unit. Mass production is scheduled to begin in March 2009 with approximately 1000,000 units and expected to reach 4000,000 units per month by March 2010. Pricing and availability are subject to change.