Koninklijke Philips Electronics and Benq have established an optical storage joint venture.
The company, Philips Benq Digital Storage, will work mainly on product roadmaps, product development, manufacturing and customer support of optical storage devices, such as DVD+RW (DVD+rewritable) drives, but also research new optical standards.
The joint venture marks the solidification of an optical storage alliance that Philips and Benq formed in April last year. That first alliance was followed by Philips moving all of its optical storage activities to Taiwan when it shut down its Components division.
Philips Benq Digital Storage aims to achieve a market share of 15 per cent in the medium term in a market of 200 million units shipped annually.
The joint venture will be based in Taipei and start operations in March. Philips will own 51 per cent of the company and Benq 49 per cent.
Philips moved most of its optical storage business to Taiwan in a move to restore profitability at the ailing unit.
Philips Optical Storage accounted for over half of the losses in the Philips Components division in last year's third quarter. In October 2002, Philips said it would dissolve Philips Components.
As part of the move, Philips said it would eliminate unprofitable product lines and focus on DVD+RW, which provided healthy margins for the company and was already the focus of the original partnership with Benq.