Adobe has announced an agreement to license DVD-authoring technology from Sonic Solutions, a supplier of authoring systems for DVD-video production.

This technology will form the foundation of an Adobe-branded professional DVD-authoring application that, for the moment, remains unnamed.

Adobe will license the technology, emphasizing Sonic Solutions' DVD product-line under the agreement's terms. Further steps will be taken by both companies to initiate development of Adobe-branded DVD software. A core team of engineers from Sonic Solutions will join Adobe.

Market leader Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president of Adobe Systems' Graphics Business Unit, said: "With products such as Adobe Premiere, After Effects and Photoshop, Adobe is already a leader in the digital-video and digital-imaging markets.

"We are investing in DVD authoring because it complements our existing position in both markets, in which DVD is expected to quickly become a primary medium for content delivery and storage.''

DVD-player technology is being consumed faster than any other electronic device in history, according to market researcher Dataquest.

Dataquest studies show yearly sales of DVD home players will exceed 60 million units by 2004, and that an additional 100 million DVD units will be sold in desktop and laptop computers.

Adobe believe the popularity of desktop DVD-authoring is increasing because hardware manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard and Pioneer are introducing recordable DVD drives for use with desktop computers.

Lamkin added: "This licensing agreement accelerates our ability to offer customers high-quality DVD-authoring software that leverages their investments in Adobe graphics software.

"By combining Sonic Solutions' DVD technology with Adobe's market-leading content-creation tools and powerful brand, we believe we have a tremendous opportunity to excel in the emerging DVD software market.''

Bob Doris, president of Sonic, said: "We're pleased to be teaming with Adobe as they expand its digital video and digital-imaging product lines to include DVD-Video creation. Adobe's product line-up and success in digital media joined with Sonic's expertise in DVD-video makes for an unbeatable combination.''