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Fast DVD drive for $175

Pioneer begins shipping DVD drives that are about 2-1/2 times faster than first-generation DVD-ROM devices.

Pioneer has begun shipping one of the fastest DVD (digital versatile disc) drives on the market for $175, the company announced today.

DVD-ROM drives are similar to CD-ROMs, but can store much more information. DVD discs can hold up to 17GB of data on a

Pioneer DVD-102
Pioneer DVD-102
double-sided, dual-layered disc, in contrast to the 650MB of storage that CDs offer.

The DVD-102 is 2.6 times as fast as first-generation DVD-ROMs, Pioneer says. The drive offers an average seek time of 120 milliseconds, and access time of less than 150 milliseconds for DVD-ROM discs.

DVD-102 can read both single- and dual-layer DVD discs. The drive can retrieve information from CD-ROM discs as well.

The DVD-102 uses the ATAPI standard interface, which allows users to mix and match different types of drives to the same machine.

Pioneer is currently shipping DVD-102 to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and resellers.

In late April, Pioneer will begin shipping the Mac-compatible DVD-302 for $275. That drive will uses the SCSI interface for Macs, which also allows users to add different types of devices to their systems.