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REPEAT/Hitachi Announces Release of 4.7 GB DVD-RAM Drive

Will Begin Sample Shipments January 2000

BRISBANE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 10, 1999--Hitachi America, Ltd. announced today that the Digital Media Group of Hitachi, Ltd. has completed development of its 4.7 gigabyte (GB) DVD-RAM drive for PC applications. Samples of the new GF-2000 drive will begin shipping in January 2000.

For rewritable data storage, the GF-2000 accommodates single- and double-sided DVD-RAM media complying with the new specifications approved by the DVD Forum's Steering Committee. This media has a single-sided storage capacity of 4.7 GB, and double that for a two-sided disc. The new drive will be shown at Comdex '99, held in Las Vegas November 15-19.

In April 1998 Hitachi released its first generation DVD-RAM drive, supporting media with single-sided 2.6 GB capacity, which has enjoyed good demand for PC and library system applications. The GF-2000 is the successor to that earlier drive. In addition to offering some 1.8 times the storage capacity of the earlier drive, during writing operations the 4.7 GB drive transfers data twice as fast.

High speed, large storage capacity and rewritability make DVD-RAM the medium of choice in a multimedia environment that integrates the PC with home audio/visual systems. Areas in which DVD-RAM drives are already being used include video, music, computers, and industrial equipment.

With the higher storage capacity of 4.7 gigabytes and compatibility with the video-recording standard formulated by the DVD Forum, DVD is set to go beyond the PC. Future applications will include home DVD video recorders and DVD video cameras, and it will be possible to use PC DVD-RAM drives to play, edit and store videos taken with the home DVD video cameras.

In all scenarios of the multimedia world of the future, DVD is thus expected to play a central role. As a leading manufacturer of DVD drives, Hitachi will continue to provide products that meet market needs.

Features of the GF-2000

--   Complies with the DVD Forum specifications for the 4.7 gigabyte
     rewritable DVD format standard.
--   Provides read- and write-compatibility with 2.6 gigabyte DVD-RAM
--   Can play DVD-ROM, DVD-R and DVD-Video media.
--   Can play multiple CD formats.

Outline of Specifications

--   Format:     4.7GB DVD-RAM

--   Laser wavelength:       650 nm (DVD) / 780 nm (CD)

--   Writing rate:4.7GB DVD-RAM disc:  2.77 megabytes/sec
     2.6GB DVD-RAM disc:  1.38 megabytes/sec

--   Writable discs:         4.7GB DVD-RAM
     2.6GB DVD-RAM

--   Readable discs:         DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-Video,
     CD-ROM, CD-Audio,

Hitachi America, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., Japan, markets and manufactures a broad range of electronics, computer systems, consumer electronics and semiconductor products, and provides industrial equipment and services throughout the U.S. Additional information is available at Hitachi America's web site at

Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the world's leading global electronics companies, with fiscal 1998 (ended March 31, 1999) consolidated sales of 7,977 billion yen ($65.9 billion(1)).

The company manufactures and markets a wide range of products, including computers, semiconductors, consumer products and power and industrial equipment. For more information on Hitachi, Ltd., please visit Hitachi's Web site at

(1) At an exchange rate of 121 yen to the dollar.

Note to Editors: See Hitachi's family of DVD Products at COMDEX '99, Booth: L5855

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