singulus rides wave of disk demand, but its move into chips may be tougher : maker of dvd systems welcomes all formats - metalized plastic film
Battle of the VHS standard: nick selbymarch 12,200 3A
Betamax proportions are already in the making and the winner will control how you can copy the dvd on your home computer.
The last thing that doesn't care who wins is Roland Lach, the outspoken chief executive of Singulus Technologies AG, based in Carl, Germany.
"Philips dvd rw will win this battle," Lacher said . ". "DVD-RW and DVD-RAM will die.
"The result is not important to Lacher.
His machine is likely to make the dvd you buy, no matter which standard wins.
Singulus, a leading manufacturer of machines for making discs (
Dvd and cd included)
Despite the standard war, it did a good job. When CDs —
Plastic plates coated with metal films that reflect the laser-
Twenty years ago, disc became an exciting new market.
Advertising through the formation of dents on the surface of the metal, manufacturers can make light and dark spots.
A Point of Light is interpreted as "1" and a dark point is interpreted as "0 ".
"Measuring these numbers 44,100 times per second, the disk will recreate the audio with amazing clarity.
The problem is that you need to be very good to create a unified, non-bubbling metal --
And very expensive. technology.
You need a lot of knowledge in order to create a machine that makes a diskhow.
Can enter the labor pool of the University
Educated staff and doctorsD.
Researchers at Singulus say they have overcome German hurdles, including high wages, high taxes, and expensive travel to the main markets of the company, the United States and Asia.
"We are doing 100% of R & D and engineering here, outsourcing 100% of the parts and components," said Lacher.
"To market the product, the company has built dozens of company subsidiaries, bypassing sales agents with local representation.
This formula seems to work.
Unaxis Holding AG-based companies are fiercely competitive in system components, and Singulus has become the world leader in complete CD and DVD manufacturing systems.
Singulus said it booked 182 DVD systems last year, accounting for 65% of the global market share. (
A metalizer starts at € 130,000, DVD-
The cost of a recordable machine is more than 1 million euros. )
Singulus posted € 35 million$38 million)
Net profit last year was 0. 286 billion euros.
Both figures are up about 25% from 2001, surpassing the company's own forecast for 20% growth, with a profit margin of 13%. Advertisement-
Said investors linked Lacher to the company's trajectory, as if there were some banking operations in Frankfurt.
Lacher has an outspoken and firm vision of the company he helped create.
He ran the skinny of Lebao-
The film coating system division, where he oversees R & D, sales and production in 1990.
In 1996, Lacher, together with external investors and Reina Selle, Lebao's manager, led the management acquisition of Lebao's CD business.
Singulus went public on 1997.
Since then, computer speed and hard
Driving technology makes 650
A few megabytes of CD is almost quaint.
The global demand for film, games and data storage capacity, as well as new DVD technologies such as Blu-ray, has driven the market to boom.
Take advantage of compact discs with shorter blue-light wavelengths to provide more intensive data storage. (
Singulus says it will make the blue light
Ray standard is also. )
The company's customers are mainly DVD and CD manufacturers in the entertainment and computer industries.
Its machines have been used to produce CDs with holographic images for Microsoft.
Thomson olor is a division of Thomson Multimedia.
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Product line includes Skyline CD-audio and CD-
ROM production machine (
38% of sales)
Spilin DVD system (37 percent)
, Streamlined and recordable-CD systems (10 percent)
And Beaker (3 percent).
Equipment sales in the United States and Europe have been picking up, and analysts estimate that the market will remain stable.
Digital growth over the next two years.
In Asia, as dvd starts to replace the more common CD,Video format (
Asian standard for film disk)
Saturation may be delayed further.
Advertising analysts are impressed by the company's technology and management.
But analysts, investors and the company itself are aware that Singulus will need another lineup to wait once the market is saturated.
Lacher is betting that the product will be non-volatile computer memory, or M-
RAM, which is easily appreciated by anyone who loses power while processing a spreadsheet, because it holds data even without power.
Singulus believes similar technologies to make chips and disks will help it enter the semiconductor market.
Make M-like a dvd-
RAM essentially puts a very thin film on the substrate and puts it with some kind of di-
Analysts acknowledge the logic as a matter of paper, but they also want to know if the company can successfully break into an integrated industry with high barriers to entry and completely different types of customers.
"This is a fairly conservative industry," Bruno winger, an analyst at Vontobel Holding AG in Zurich, said of the memory chip space.
"They use proven technology and they don't like to experiment with things.
This is not only technology, but also long-term.
A lasting connection with market participants.
This is a different customer base, a different way of selling.
"Qualified to become a chip supplier for companies such as Toshiba
In the semiconductor market
The product is usually a ten-
One in ten human hair thickness
More stringent processes are involved than other industries.
A successful advertisement in this market, a beginning
Up needs to provide a product that is far better than the competition.
Uche Orji said: "AMD and some other more mature semiconductor companies have more resources to use for research and development, and they can use 30 years of semiconductor manufacturing experience, he is the head of JP Morgan's European semiconductor team in London.
In addition, the semiconductor industry is integrating
Look for suppliers that are less than more.
The development, Orji said, was "more challenging than people expected.
He said he was not intimidated by the possibility.
"Everything is at risk," he said . "
"We think this is a management problem.
Our technology is ahead of our competitors.
"What if it fails?
"We have invested 5 million euros in this area for two years," Lacher said . ".
Look at our balance sheet.
This is change.
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A version of the article was published in the International Herald Tribune on March 12, 2003.