Welcome to the Super Audio CD Disc Philips only licensing program. Please use the navigation on the right to find all the relevant information related to this program.

If you are a buyer of Super Audio CD discs and want to ensure that you are buying licensed products, please visit our special buyer page.

Super Audio CD Disc Patent License (Philips only)
We offer patent licenses to manufacturers of Super Audio CD discs. Our license provides Super Audio CD disc manufacturers with all the required Philips patents in a package.
Please note that in addition to the essential patents of Philips, other parties may own patents relevant for the system concerned. These patents are NOT included in this license agreement. For information on the conditions of these licenses please contact the respective companies directly.

Philips offers a joint license that also covers essential patents of Sony. For full details, click Super Audio CD Disc joint


Licensing policy

Philips has a general licensing policy for CD, DVD and BD related products.


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Detailed Description

The detailed terms and conditions of the licensing program are described in the patent license agreement that you can find in the patents/agreements section.

Some important information:
The Philips only Super Audio CD Disc Patent License Agreement comprises the essential patents of Philips. A worldwide list of the essential patents, together with applicable expiry dates is attached to the agreement. Under the terms of the standard license agreement we only require payment of royalties of patents where any of these are actually used – in other words, either in the country of manufacture or in the country of sale.

Super Audio CD disc licensees have at all times the option to transfer to the latest version of the Super Audio CD Disc Patent License Agreement. In the event of such transfer, Philips shall not require the payment of the entrance fee under the new license agreement.

Reference copies of the current version of the Philips Super Audio CD Disc Patent License Agreement, together with the relevant Annexes, including worldwide patent lists, can be found in the patents/agreements section and the annexes section.
As part of new licenses and as part of settlement of disputes, manufacturers are now required to sign a side-letter setting forth the mandatory LSCD requirement. Such side-letters are also available to existing manufacturers wishing to demonstrate to their customers that they will only ship products covered by a valid LSCD issued by Philips. Manufacturers with this requirement are listed on Philips Licensee database with an asterisk (*). For more information about LSCD’s please visit our Supplier/Buyer page.

Super Audio CD

Super Audio CD takes digital audio sound quality to new levels, incorporating many of the best features of analog recording within a highly advanced digital technology.

Flexible distribution medium

The Super Audio CD format allows for three types of disc: single layer, dual layer and hybrid. The first two are high density (HD) formats which play only on Super Audio CD players, while the hybrid combines an HD layer and a conventional CD layer which makes the disc play in Super Audio CD- and standard CD players. With this variety of disc constructions, Super Audio CD is an extremely versatile format offering the creative community a wide choice of what to provide on a disc. Super Audio CD provides both superb stereo and multi-channel reproduction: with no down-mixing to stereo required in multi-channel mode, each of the six channels delivers full Super Audio CD quality for an outstanding three-dimensional listening experience.

As an example of the possibilities, a fully loaded hybrid Super Audio CD contains up to three complete 74 minute versions of the music:

- stereo Super Audio CD program

- multi-channel (5, 5.1, or 6 channel) Super Audio CD program

- stereo CD program and there is also a provision for content enrichments on the disc.

Hybrid format for backwards compatibility
The hybrid construction supported by the SACD specification enables record labels to market discs containing both Super Audio CD and conventional CD content.

This potential for backwards compatibility means hybrid Super Audio CDs can be used in the massive installed base of almost one billion CD players. Consumers benefit from Super Audio CD's exceptional performance and multi-channel capabilities, while still being able to listen to part of the content on standard CD systems. The result is a distribution medium which safeguards consumer investments in their existing music collections and ensures a smooth migration path from standard CD to Super Audio CD.

Direct Stream Digital Interchange File Format (DSDIFF)

For optimum data transfer between the various Audio processing stages an interchange format is needed.

In the CD Audio domain PCM is the data format, and AIFF is the Audio Interchange File Format. For Super Audio CD Direct Stream Digital (DSD) is used as data format, and the interchange format is DSDIFF, which conforms as much as possible to the AIFF principles.

Patents / Agreements

Below you find patent lists and relevant agreements for Super Audio CD Disc.

Super Audio CD Disc Patent lists
The essential patents and their expiry dates. Please click the link to open the PDF file. 

Super Audio CD Disc / Super Audio CD Part Philips
Exhibit A to the Super Audio CD Disc Patent License Agreement: Super Audio CD Disc / Super Audio CD Part Philips

Super Audio CD Disc / General CD part
Exhibit B1 to the Super Audio CD Disc Patent License Agreement: Super Audio CD Disc / General CD Part

Super Audio CD Disc / CD Text part
Exhibit B2 to the Super Audio CD Disc Patent License Agreement: Super Audio CD Disc / CD Text Part

+ link to change history of patent lists

Reference copies of current version of the Super Audio CD Disc Patent License Agreement. Please click the link to open the PDF file.

These versions are intended for prospective licensees:

Super Audio CD Disc Patent License Agreement
+ Manufacturer located in U.S.A/Rest of the world

Super Audio CD Disc Patent License Agreement (Philips/Sony)- USA -

+ Manufacturer located in Rest of the world
Super Audio CD Disc Patent License Agreement (Philips/Sony)- Rest of the World –

Super Audio CD Disc Copy Protection Agreement
Super Audio CD Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement for Highly Confidential Information (version 2002-07)

To view Royalty Reporting Forms, Audit Guidelines, Manufacturing Equipment list and Side Letters go to section Annexes


Super Audio CD Disc Patent License Agreement

Royalty reporting form

Exhibit C3 Royalty Reporting Form

Audit guidelines
Exhibit C1 Audit Guidelines

Manufacturing equipment list
Exhibit C2 Manufacturing Equipment List

Pricing Information

The royalty rate is determined by one key factor:

1) Status of the licensee
If the company fulfills certain conditions, such as complete, true and accurate reporting and timely payment, reward rates are available. Otherwise the standard rate applies.

Note of caution
Compliance reward royalty rates are only made available to licensees who are in FULL compliance with their obligations under the license agreement.

Regular Super Audio CD Disc
Standard rate
Compliant reward
Super Audio CD 12cm 0.02 USD N.A.

Note: In the event of any discrepancy in respect of the above information with relevant license agreements, the license agreements shall prevail. All terms and conditions will be subject to relevant license agreements.

Overview of royalty rates for all formats
+ link to overview of royalty rates for all formats

Services / Information

Ordering & Services:
We provide a number of services for optical disc and drive manufacturers. These include:
· Physical and logical verification
· Specification documents
· Test discs
· Tools

. Ordering specifications

For more information go to the Ordering & Services section

Unified Cutting Master Format for Super Audio CD.

To enable the introduction of a new generation of Super Audio CD tools for authoring and mastering of such discs, Philips and Sony released a common Cutting Master Format, the interface between Authoring (in Audio studios) and mastering (in disc replication facilities).

The specification of the Super Audio CD Cutting Master Format version 1.01, dated October 2004.



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What is the SID code?

The CD replication industry developed a code system (SID code also known as IFPI code) to be employed by CD, DVD & SA-CD manufacturing plants to identify all discs mastered and/or replicated in their plant. Each CD-, DVD- and SA-CD manufacturing facility around the world has their own unique code and this enables the music industry to trace the origin of CDs.

The Source IDentification Code (SID Code) provides an optical disc production facility with the means to identify:
- all discs mastered and/or replicated in its plant;

- and the individual Laser Beam Recorder (LBR) signal processor or mould that produced a particular stamper or disc.

Each production facility that wishes to implement the use of the SID Code is issued with its own unique code(s). The SID Code was developed for use with the CD format, but is now being used for both CD and High Density disc formats, including DVD and Super Audio CD.

The SID Code was developed jointly by rights owners and the optical disc industry, primarily as an anti-piracy tool. However, since its introduction in 1994, the SID Code has proved a major benefit to optical disc producers. Its use both as a quality control tool and as a marketing tool has ensured that the SID Code, which was introduced on a purely voluntary basis, has now been implemented in over 80% of the world’s optical disc plants, representing over 90% of worldwide optical disc manufacturing capacity.

Link to IFPI

Document: SID code implementation guide

Document: Application form SID code

Document: Good Business Practices for optical disc mastering & manufacturing plants

Does Philips provide analyzers for mastering systems?
Yes, Philips provides analyzers, a key component for a testing system.
- PSP analyzing for Super Audio CD discs.
- Bit2Bit comparison of encrypted data of a Super Audio CD disc with the un-encrypted source.
- Blu-ray ROM Mark Analyzer

The following suppliers are known to be able to support one or more of these Pit O'resc based analyzers functions in their DVD, SACD or Blu ray measurement equipment: Audio development & Datarius

Mentioning of the companies above is for information purposes only and may not be considered as a recommendation. Other companies may support also the indicated analyzer systems.

Does Philips provide Formatters for mastering systems?
Yes. For info go to our Mastering/Analyzers page

Information and contact

General Licensing information

This document explains our main principles for administering licensing programs related to CD, DVD and Blu-ray Disc. This document is for information purposes only.

For any other questions, please contact us

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