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Press Release

Signals Entry into New, Growing DVD Market

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif.,... February 23, 2000 – Ultera Systems, the leading tape array controller and tape array system supplier, today announced its entry into the burgeoning DVD-Recordable market with its new DVD-R MultiMaster™ array controller, bringing a new level of performance and flexibility to small-scale DVD replication applications.

Ultera Systems, an acknowledged leader of innovative, award-winning tape array controllers, is aggressively expanding its business into the DVD market, which is projected to outpace the CD-R format in the coming year. Not new to the optical arena, Ultera has deployed its advanced controller technology in optical storage applications for years, in thousands of installations worldwide.

The DVD-R MultiMaster builds on Ultera’s innovative array technology implemented in the company’s CD-R MultiMaster, and allows up to 12 DVDs to be created in the time it typically takes to create a single disc. The unit supports up to 12 SCSI-based DVD-R drives from Pioneer New Media Technologies Inc., making DVD-R MultiMaster the ideal solution for companies with requirements beyond single DVD replication but without the need for costly, high-volume disc duplication.

Pioneer was the first – and is still the only – drive manufacturer to deliver SCSI-based DVD-R drives, and migrating Ultera’s existing CD-R array controller technology to the new DVD-R format was a logical, timely extension, said Fred Bedard, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Ultera.

"DVD is poised to explode in all areas, as both a consumer and computer storage format, and Pioneer delivered a breakthrough product," said Bedard. "The combination of Pioneer drives and Ultera’s array controller opens up new opportunities for innovation in the DVD marketplace."

DVD-Recordable is a write-once medium – similar to the popular CD-R format – that can store any type of digital information such as video, audio, images, multimedia titles and data files. DVD-R discs are usable on any DVD playback device including DVD-ROM drives, DVD-Recordable drives and DVD video players, depending on the type of data stored. DVD-R technology is ideal for testing and developing DVD applications, and small-scale distribution of DVD content. It is also ideal for archival storage of image, film or video data. In addition, since DVD discs are dimensionally identical to CDs, they are compatible with a company’s existing jukebox and changer mechanisms, allowing DVD-R to be easily integrated into network storage and high-capacity archival applications as a natural upgrade from CD-R technology.

The demand for DVD technology is booming. DVD video technology has become the fastest-growing consumer electronics format ever, and International Data Corp. projects that more than 19 million DVD-ROM drives will be shipped for computer applications this year, a 300 percent increase from 1998. This strong demand for read-only DVD formats is driving two of the main applications for DVD-R technology: beta testing of DVD discs prior to final mastering and short-run duplication for distribution.

Until now, DVD duplication has been limited to two extremes: recording one disc at a time or high-volume duplication services that require a complex and expensive pre-mastering process. Ultera has solved this dilemma by leveraging its patented array controller technology and Pioneer’s affordable DVD-R drives to deliver a solution that fits midrange, short-run DVD replication applications.

Ultera’s DVD-R MultiMaster controller synchronizes the duplication process to multiple drives with no performance degradation. The host computer sees the controller as a single SCSI device, but up to 12 DVD-R drives can be connected simultaneously, each operating at maximum data rates. This allows a dozen DVD copies to be created in the same time required to produce a single disc. The DVD-R Master controller is also compatible with existing autoloader and library software, enabling each drive array channel to control a media changer device to further extend the capabilities of the solution.

The Ultera controller supports both recording modes on the Pioneer DVD-R drives: disc at once and incremental writing. It is completely operating system- and application software-independent, providing plug-and-play compatibility with all major OS platforms, including Windows 95/98/NT, Mac OS, UNIX and Linux. It also works seamlessly with all major DVD mastering software supported by the Pioneer drives, including Daikin’s Scenarist* and DVD Rep* from Prassi Software, without the need for any special drivers.

The DVD-R MultiMaster controller intelligently manages the DVD-R array, ensuring that all connected drives are operating at maximum efficiency with comprehensive diagnostic features that isolate a suspect drive, cable or array channel interface and automatically disable the affected array channel. Until the repair is made, all other drives on the array continue to operate unimpeded.

The DVD-R MultiMaster is designed to support current and future evolutions of the DVD-R format. The firmware is flash-upgradeable to support recording speeds beyond the current 8x (1.2 MB per second), when those drives become available. Current Ultera CD-R Multi-Master customers can also upgrade their controller to DVD-R capability with a new firmware update.

The DVD-R MultiMaster starts at an MSRP of $6,660 for a 5.25" half height 5-channel internal controller and up to $15,725 (MSRP) for a 12-channel controller, less DVD-R drives.

About Ultera Systems
Ultera Systems, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of RAID Tape Array controllers and subsystems designed for high-speed backup, archive and high-speed data acquisition applications. All industry standard tape drives, tape libraries and storage management software are compatible with the Ultera Arrays. Its tape array product lines are marketed under the trade names "Striper," "Imager," "LibraryMaster" and "ShadowMaster," and sold through OEMs, VARs and Systems Integrators worldwide. Not new to the optical arena, Ultera has deployed its advanced controller technology in optical storage applications for years, in thousands of installations worldwide. Ultera is based in Laguna Hills, Calif.

For further information, call (949) 367-8800, email or visit Ultera's web site at

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