IBM Corp’s Microelectronics division in New York has challenged companies like California-based Chromatic Research Inc with the introduction a new DVD digital video disk playback system which uses a mixture of hardware and software to achieve necessary decoding and unscrambling functions. The firm introduced two MPEG-2 decoders last March, for use in multimedia personal computers and mobile systems and has now developed some software designed to unscramble copy-protected disk content so it can be viewed on a personal computer. Without the protection of scrambling, digitized movies would be susceptible to high-quality copying, said Nick King, general manager IBM Microelectronics. The unscrambling software, as well as samples of the two digital video decoder chips, are available now in a kit priced at $27 when bought in quantity. In an effort to provide an economical system for manufacturers, each video decoder can operate with as little as 1Mb of external dynamic RAM. DVD disks have just begun a steady trickle into the consumer market place. If Intel is to be believed then DVD movies will be run in software on Pentium personal computers in a year or two but, until then, a wide spectrum of hardware and software DVD-enabling technologies have been designed to fill the gap.