The new CDR-8330 drive is one of the fastest CD-ROM readers on the market. Sized to fit desktop computers, the drive will be sold to computer manufacturers as well as makers of upgrade kits.
Typically, older 4X CD-ROM drives have access times ranging from 150 to 280 milliseconds.
The Hitachi drive spins the CD at constant velocity, rather than varied RPM as in older readers. This allows the drive to operate more quietly and lets the optical mechanism find data faster on the face of the compact disc.
The drive uses an enhanced IDE interface and supports all standard 650MB-capacity CD-ROM formats. Hitachi's announcement comes as DVD drives are just beginning to replace CD-ROM drives in desktop computers. However, there remains a strong market for traditional CD-ROM drives, which are still built into the large majority of new computers.
The drive is shipping now and is available to PC manufacturers who will use the drive in systems for about $135, according to Hitachi.