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Ricoh Co will support the triumvirate of heavyweights that broke rank with the agreed DVD-RAM standard last week, according to a Nihon Keizai Shimbun report. Ricoh says it will develop a large- capacity optical disk system for personal computers that will adhere to the independent format proposed jointly by Sony Corp, Philips Electronics NV and Hewlett-Packard Co. The three companies put themselves at odds with the seven other members of the industry-wide DVD Forum, including Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd and Hitachi Ltd, by announcing that they will develop a format more compatible with the DVD-ROMs already used in PCs (CI No 3,225). Ricoh’s 4.7 gibabyte rewritable DVD-RAM media disk should be in commercial production by 2001 and will provide capacity for about two hours of full-motion video. Ricoh effectively becomes the first company to declare support for the splinter group’s format.

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