Kenwood TrueX™ CD-ROM Drive

Who is Kenwood Technologies? | What are the products? |
How is TrueX Different? | What is TrueX technology? | What interfaces does it use?
What pickup is used? | Why Kenwood Technologies & Zen Research?
What are competitive advantages? | Compatible with current CDs?
Who is the target audience? | Kenwood's competitors?
Buy 42X or 52X? | Why a performance range?

Who is Kenwood Technologies (U.S.A.), Inc.?

Located in San Jose, California, Kenwood Technologies (U.S.A.), Inc. was created by Kenwood Corporation in 1997 to facilitate the company's entry into the computer peripherals market. As a world-renowned manufacturer of consumer audio and communications equipment, the move to computer peripherals such as optical drives and speaker systems is a natural for the Kenwood brand.

Kenwood Corporation was established in 1946 and has manufacturing facilities and sales offices around the world. Annual sales revenues exceed $3 billion.

What computer peripheral products are made by Kenwood?

Kenwood makes a line of revolutionary TrueX™ optical drives and the CL Series of high-end sound systems for the PC.

Kenwood's TrueX™ CD-ROM Drives

How are Kenwood's TrueX CD-ROM drives different from other drives?

Kenwood's TrueX CD-ROM drives use Zen Research's TrueX technology to achieve a very fast transfer rate. The Kenwood 42X TrueX CD-ROM drive delivers a constant data transfer rate ranging from 6000 - 6300 KB/second: twice as fast as a 40X Max CD-ROM drive without hard disk caching. The 52X TrueX CD-ROM drive is the only drive in the world that delivers a transfer rate ranging from 6750 - 7800 KB/second across the entire disc, more than 50% faster than the average 50X Max CD-ROM drive available today. Kenwood's TrueX CD-ROM drives yield superior read performance compared to conventional single-beam Min/Max drives.

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What is Zen TrueX technology?

Zen TrueX technology is a component set that enables optical drive manufacturers to produce extremely fast CD and DVD drives that deliver sustained transfer rates. Drives employing the TrueX component set read industry-standard disk media and utilize standard CPU interfaces. TrueX component sets include optics, detection devices and high speed ASICs. Drives made with TrueX technology illuminate multiple tracks simultaneously, read them in parallel, and process the data through a custom ASIC. This technology is compatible with all existing CD and DVD formats and standards. For more information on Zen TrueX technology, visit http://www.zenresearch.com.

What interface do the 42X and 52X TrueX CD-ROMs utilize?

Both drives are currently available with an EIDE (ATAPI) interface. A SCSI version of the 52X CD-ROM drive is scheduled for release later this summer.

What pickup is used in Kenwood's TrueX drives?

Kenwood's TrueX drives use the world's first 7-beam pickup. Kenwood has more than a decade of experience in the manufacture of precision optical pickups for use with audio CDs, Mini Disks, and laser disks. Seven beams are generated by passing a single laser beam (780nm infrared) through a diffraction grating. As in a conventional single-beam pickup, the beams pass through a beam splitter and lenses that focus them back on the disc. After reflection, all seven beams then pass back through the lenses and are diverted by the beam splitter to the multibeam detector.

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Why are Kenwood Technologies and Zen Research working together?

Kenwood and Zen Research have collaborated to bring to market quality, innovative optical drives. Kenwood, a name well-recognized for its high-quality products, is leveraging its manufacturing expertise with the revolutionary TrueX technology developed by Zen Research.

What are the competitive advantages of Kenwood's TrueX drives?

FASTER-- Data is written on to CDs starting at the inner tracks, continuing to the outer tracks. A typical CD is less than half full, and the majority of all CDs contain no data on their outer tracks. "Max" drives typically perform at less than half their advertised speed on their innermost tracks and only reach their advertised performance on the disc's outermost tracks (if the disc is full). Depending upon the operating environment and quality of media, the Kenwood's TrueX CD-ROM drives deliver superior performance within a narrow range across the entire disc.

MORE RELIABLE-- Traditional "Max" CD-ROM drives use a single laser beam to read data from a single track on a disc. The only way to increase the "X" rating with this approach is to physically spin the disc at a faster rotational speed. This increased speed can compromise reliability by degrading a drive's ability to read standard media and by introducing excessive vibration, both of which result in rotational speed "kick-downs" and reduced performance. Kenwood's TrueX CD-ROM drives offer rotational speeds that are much slower than "Max" drives and deliver precise readability of media with limited vibration, all of which translates into a more reliable flow of data to the user.

QUIETER-- Zen's TrueX technology enables Kenwood's TrueX drives to read multiple tracks simultaneously, dramatically increasing the drives' data transfer rate without increasing their rate of rotation. A reduced rate of rotation equates to less noise.

Kenwood's TrueX CD-ROM drives are faster, quieter and more reliable, thus providing consistent high performance data throughput across the entire disc and making the drives ideal for graphic-intensive applications such as 3D games, multimedia, and other reference content.

Are Kenwood TrueX CD-ROM drives compatible with conventional CDs and software?

Yes, TrueX CD-ROM drives are just like other CD-ROM drives only FASTER. They read all standard CD media including CD-R and CD-RW and are compatible with the millions of CD-ROM software titles available in today's market.

Who are Kenwood's target audiences?

Kenwood's TrueX drives set a new standard for performance and are positioned at the high end of the CD/DVD-ROM drive market. Target markets include: PC OEMs and CD/DVD-ROM optical disc drive VARs, system integrators, graphics and multimedia power users, corporate and government MIS decision makers, game enthusiasts, and design engineers.

Who is Kenwood's CD-ROM competition, and why is Kenwood better positioned to succeed?

Currently no other company is offering a drive equal in performance or quietness of operation to Kenwood's TrueX CD-ROM drives. In this category, Kenwood Technologies stands alone. Possible competitive alternatives to TrueX drive performance might include hard drive caching schemes (hard drive/CD drive combinations) and magneto-optical drives. Drives made with Zen's TrueX technology do not require PC manufacturers to change anything. Similarly, Kenwood's advantage over magneto-optical drives is Kenwood TrueX CD-ROM drives read industry standard media, requiring no change for manufacturers or users.

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What should one know when deciding whether to buy a Kenwood 42X or 52X drive?

Kenwood's TrueX CD-ROM drives are the best optical drives available on the market today and are therefore the best choice for the discriminating buyer. The 52X TrueX is Kenwood's second-generation drive. It is the fastest CD-ROM drive in the world and offers CD-R and CD-RW disc readable formats. For a CD-ROM buyer who has no need for enhanced disc readable formats or is on a more limited budget, the 42X TrueX CD-ROM drive is the drive of choice.

Why is there a performance range on a TrueX drive?

Only TrueX drives deliver high transfer rate performance across the entire disc:


Innermost Track

Outermost Track

40X Max



48X Max



52X TrueX



"Max" drives deliver a wide performance range depending on where they are reading on the disc. TrueX drives deliver consistent performance across the entire disc within a narrow tolerance, depending on the quality of media and operating environment.


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