Panasonic to ship Blu-ray disc drives in Spring

Panasonic, the consumer brand of Matsushita, today said that it will begin selling Blu-ray (BD) disc drives for PCs and non-Cartridge Blu-ray Discs Next Spring. According to the company, the drives will be able to write and read single- and dual-layer BDs as well as all types of recordable DVDs and CDs. Storage capacities will be 25 and 50 GByte.

The firm's first BD drive for notebook PCs will be 12. mm high, will feature recording and playback capability, support single-layer as well as single-sided, dual-layer 50 GByte BDs. Panasonic plans to ship samples of the drive by the end of this year and enter mass production by March 2006.

The company did not say how much the new drives will cost.