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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Company Contact:
Kenwood Technologies (USA), Inc.
Robert Selzler 408-467-7916
selzler@kenwoodtech.com

Kenwood Editorial Contact:
Shotwell Public Relations, Inc.
Lyn Balistreri 408-530-8081
Lyn@shotwellpr.com

Zen Editorial Contact:
Big Sky Communications, Inc.
Stacey Byrnes 250-767-9581
staceyb@bigskypr.com


Kenwood Technolgies Unveils Blazing Fast Kenwood 52X TrueX™ CD-ROM Drive

Second Gereration CD-ROM using Zen's TrueX™ Technology Raises the Industry Standard Performance

Cupertino, CA, February 2, 1999--; Kenwood Technologies (USA), Inc. today unveiled the Kenwood 52X TrueX CD-ROM drive, the second in a family of high performance drives based on Zen Research's TrueX technology. Unlike other "Max" CD-ROM drives that reach top performance only on the outermost tracks of the disc, the Kenwood 52X TrueX CD-ROM drive delivers a typical transfer rate ranging from 6750-7800 KB per second across the entire disc.

Kenwood Technologies began shipping its first breakthrough CD-ROM drives in August 1998, marking the company's official entrance into the computer peripheral market. Since introduction, the Kenwood MULTI BEAM 40X Plus CD-ROM drive, distributed by Santa Ana, California-based Hi-Val, Inc., has won numerous awards and reviews and continues to gain widespread industry acceptance. The Kenwood 52X TrueX CD-ROM drive, builds upon the success of the 40X and will be brought to market under both the Kenwood and Hi-Val brand names.

"With the 52X TrueX, Kenwood establishes a clear leadership position in CD-ROM technology today and lays the foundation for future success in the DVD arena," stated A. J. Hart, senior vice president of Kenwood Technologies. "The Kenwood 52X TrueX is just the beginning of a stream of exciting new products from Kenwood that will deliver superior performance, exceptional value, and the quality of the Kenwood brand name."

Kenwood's Competitive Advantage

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. Depending upon the operating environment and quality of media, the Kenwood 52X TrueX CD-ROM drive delivers a typical performance ranging from 45X to 52X across the entire disc. An advertised 48X "Max" CD-ROM drive performs at 19X on its innermost tracks, but achieves 48X performance only on the disc's outermost tracks (if the disc is full).

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. The Kenwood 52X TrueX CD-ROM drive offers rotational speeds that are nearly half that of a 48X "Max" drive, enabling precise readability of media (including CD-R and CD-RW) with limited vibration, all of which translates into a more reliable flow of data to the user.

QUIETER-- Zen's TrueX technology enables the Kenwood 52X TrueX to read multiple tracks simultaneously, dramatically increasing the drive's data transfer rate without increasing its rate of rotation. A reduced rate of rotation equates to less noise.

The Kenwood 52X TrueX CD-ROM drive is faster, quieter and more reliable, thus providing consistent high performance data throughput across the entire disc, making it ideal for graphic-intensive applications such as 3D games, multimedia, and other reference content.

"Kenwood's CD-ROM drives, exclusively incorporating Zen's TrueX technology, have a unique appeal to the serious professional segment of the CD-ROM market," said Robert Abraham, vice president of Santa Barbara, California-based research firm Freeman Associates, Inc. "While DVD-ROM will inevitably overtake CD-ROM in the future, the CD-ROM market continues to thrive particularly at the high end, providing a substantial opportunity for technologies such as Zen's TrueX."

"Kenwood has proven what is possible with Zen's TrueX technology and have taken CD-ROM drive performance to levels that many in the industry thought were not possible," said Emil Jachmann, president and CEO of Zen Research.

Pricing and Distribution

Kenwood is marketing its new 52X TrueX CD-ROM drive (part number UCR-412) through value-added resellers and system integrators and has established distribution relationships to cater to these channels. In addition, Kenwood will continue to build on its successful relationship with retail partner Hi-Val, who sells both the 40X and the 52X CD-ROM drives from Kenwood. The 52X TrueX CD-ROM drive is available now at a suggested retail price of $129.95 through CompUSA, Ingram Micro and other major distribution channels. The Kenwood MULTI BEAM 40X Plus CD-ROM drive has a suggested retail price of $99.95. Both products are also available in bulk or white box. For channel sales inquiries, please call Robert Gronski, vice president of sales at 408-863-6823. For OEM sales inquiries, please call Kevin Kurzenknabe, OEM national sales manager at 408-863-6821.

About Kenwood Technologies

Established in 1946, Kenwood Corporation is a world-renowned manufacturer of consumer audio and communications equipment with annual revenues of more than $3 billion. In 1997, Kenwood Corporation established and headquartered Kenwood Technologies (USA) in Cupertino, California, as a new division to launch Kenwood into the computer and technology sector. The MULTI BEAM 40X Plus, the world's first TrueX CD-ROM drive, was Kenwood Technologies' initial product offering. Kenwood has also recently entered the PC audio arena with its CL Series of computer sound systems. Additional information about Kenwood Technologies is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.kenwoodtech.com.

About Zen Research

Zen Research, a privately held multinational company, designs and produces high performance CD and DVD-ROM optical drive components. Zen has a multi-disciplinary research and development team in Israel and a marketing affiliate in Cupertino, California. Through creative innovation and revolutionary component design, Zen Research has developed TrueX™ technology, which dramatically improves optical disc drive performance. The company has been awarded 17 patents on these core technologies, with another 15 pending or in process. Additional information about Zen Research is available on the World Wide Web at
http://www.zenresearch.com.

Zen, TrueX and Multibeam are trademarks of Zen Research N.V. and its affiliates in the United States and other countries.

 

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