Yesterday, Panasonic announced that it would be bringing 6x BD-R media to Japan. Today, we've got NEC leap-frogging said announcement by trumpeting the shipment of its newest SoC (system on chip). Sure enough, samples of the SCOMBO/UM2A, a "SoC chip designed for use in Blu-ray Disc systems that support 8x recording and playback," have begun to ship out to undisclosed recipients. We're told that the chip is being aimed at the PC and AV markets (obviously), but there's no telling how long we'll have to wait until 8x Blu-ray burners (and 8x BD-R / BD-RE media, for that matter) hit the streets.