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Singulus Benefits from Growing Blu-ray Market

Singulus Technologies AG announced that it is well positioned to address the growing demand for replication lines as the international market for Blu-ray Disc (BD) continues to expand.

According to the statement, practically all major Blu-ray producers worldwide, except Sony, employ Singulus’ BLULINE production equipment.

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Unedited press release follows:

Blu-ray Market Continues To Grow Rapidly

September 01, 2010

Blu-ray Market Continues To Grow Rapidly

* Doubled Blu-ray sales brings entertain industry new record sales
* Sales in Germany rise by 153 %
* Sales in the US increase by 112 %
* Focus at the IFA on 3D and Blu-ray
* Blu-ray systems by SINGULUS are operating on all continents

Kahl, September 01, 2010 – In the 1st half of 2010 sales of Blu-ray Discs came to 5 million and thus increased by 153 % compared with the 1st half 2009. In addition to the 2 % rise of DVD sales to 45.7 million units (following 44.9 million units in the 1st half 2009), the new record level is primarily due to the constantly increasing Blu-ray market. After 2 million sold discs in the 1st half 2009 already 5 million Blu-ray Discs were sold until the end of June 2010, which means an increase of 153 % or a 3 million unit rise in absolute terms. The German Association for Audiovisual Media (BVV) reported these figures on August 12, 2010.

In the US, the rise is similar: Swicker & Associates, a market research institute, performed a study on behalf of the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) in the US. Sales of Blu-ray Discs increased by 112 % in the 2nd quarter compared with the same quarter one year ago. For the 2nd half of the year similar growth rates are expected.

IFA 2010 with Focus on 3D
The third dimension is in the spotlight: At the international consumer electronics fair IFA (September 3 to 8, 2010) in Berlin, most of the major brands will present 3D television sets. Many producers, in particular Panasonic and Sony, are wholeheartedly focusing on the new technology. Movies, TV programs and games in 3D will be the bestsellers in the coming months and years – the box office success of the 3D spectacle “Avatar” paved the way for this trend.

In Germany the Association for Entertainment and Communications Electronics (Gesellschaft für Unterhaltungs- und Kommunikationselektronik, gfu) together with the German Central Organization for Electrical and Electronics Industry (Zentralverband der Elektrotechnik- und Elektroindustrie e.V., ZVEI) made a study with respect to 3D, which clearly showed that 3D enabled TV sets are well accepted by consumers. Almost half of the respondents said that they would buy a 3D enabled TV within the next three years. The official start for 3D movie entertainment on Blu-ray was launched by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) in 2009 already.

Blu-ray players can play 3D movies in HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Since the current technology projects individual pictures for each eye to achieve the 3D effect, the data volume also increases by approximately 50 percent. Blu-ray Discs can store up to 50 gigabyte. This is sufficient for a long movie including surround sound, different language versions, etc. The 3D Blu-ray is the only available and also cost-efficient medium to store high-definition movies with 3D technology and to deliver this content to the consumers.

Blu-ray Technology by SINGULUS is operating on all Continents
Since the decision in favor of the Blu-ray was made in 2008 and SINGULUS also acquired the Blu-ray activities from the competitor Oerlikon, practically all major disc producers worldwide work with SINGULUS’ BLULINE production equipment. Only Sony is still supporting its proprietary manufacturing technology.

In the past couple of weeks SINGULUS received new Blu-ray orders from numerous independent disc producers. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Rinck, Chief Executive Officer of SINGULUS, comments: “The BLULINE is internationally accepted. We are expecting additional orders and are optimistic for 2011. We also have ongoing projects for Recordable Blu-ray, i.e. für Blu-ray Discs to record movies. Overall, the Blu-ray market will grow strongly.”

SINGULUS is the only producer for equipment for mastering and replication of Blu-ray Discs. SINGULUS’ BLULINE II was developed for the efficient manufacturing of Blu-ray Discs (BD ROM Single Layer and Dual Layer – BD ROM SL/DL) according to the specification of the BDA. The reliability, quality and short cycle time make the BLULINE II the benchmark for the entire industry.

Blu-ray machines by SINGULUS are “3D ready” and a safe investment for the future of optical disc production.

The SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES AG is the global market leader for machines and equipment for optical storage media providing the entire value-added chain of the production of optical discs: the machines range from mastering and injection molding to replication lines. So far, SINGULUS has delivered more than 80 Blu-ray production machines to customers around the world. Only Blu-ray Discs with their large storage capacity enable the recording of 3D movies in HD quality.

SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES will consistently expand the Solar business and its marketing activities. New systems for the photovoltaics industry will be launched. STANGL is one of the key providers of wet-chemical machines for both the crystalline silicon solar technology as well as for the thin-film solar technology. In the future SINGULUS will not only provide individual machines and equipment, but also actively market complete systems with process know-how in the Solar market and thus be able to offer turn-key solutions for the Solar market with its technologic leadership, know-how and professional expertise. The further development of the company’s strategy – being OEM supplier as well as system provider – will offer the company additional and new market opportunities.