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Matsushita Develops Integrated Blu-ray IC

5/22/2008 12:15:00 PM Eastern

Tokyo — In news that could bode well for lower prices on future Blu-ray Disc players, Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic) disclosed here Wednesday that it has developed the first single IC to incorporate multiple signal-processing functions for Blu-ray Disc players, according to a report from Nikkei Business News.

The new chip, which is scheduled to be available in June, contains circuitry for optical-disc control as well as for decoding audio and video signals from Blu-ray Discs. The IC will do the work previously done by four separate chips, the report said.

The breakthrough means that Blu-ray Disc player manufacturers will soon be able to reduce production costs through the elimination of half the number of component chips used in current players, including memory chips, and to cut power consumption by 25 percent, the report said.

According to reports in Japan, Matsushita controls nearly 30 percent of the global market for Blu-ray chips and is looking to build that share further. The company is expected to use the new chips in its own players as well as sell them to other player manufacturers.