The pursuit of stable performance led to Philips' development of the single-beam swing arm system. Imposing a couterweight (balancing weight) on the side facing the optical lens block enables the system to adjust the weight distribution and move the optical system usigin relatively minimal power. It also facilitated increased structural precision and, perhaps even more importantly, allowed overall movement to be controlled using highly versatile analog servo circuitry. CDs are irradiated with a 780nm red laser beam from the polycarbonate resin substrate side, and whether the digital data is "0" or "1" is determined by an increase or decrease in the reflection of the laser beam. Thus, extremely accurate optical technology (lens design, lens fabrication, special coatings, and precise assembly) is required for the small optical pickup block.

The Philips CDM0, as indicated by its model number, was the first CD drive mechanism to be developed. However, not all Marantz CD-63s, Marantz CD-73s and Philips LHH2000s were equipped with the Philips CDM0. The Philips CDM0 was replaced by the new and improved Philips CDM1 after a relatively short periode. The steel plate and some other parts used in the Philips CDM0 were found to be problematic during mass production.