Violet/Blue Laser

Developed by Nichia allows much more data in current 12cm media. Is a breakthrough in laser technology expected to provide a dramatic increase in data storage capability in compact disk and CD-ROM devices, and such rewritable technologies as HDTV-capable DVD and the emerging DVR formats.

Currently, red laser technology, in the form of the DVD disk, represents the limits of density available to developers. In future-generation optical storage systems using blue laser diodes, the amount of information stored on a given area of a disk's surface will be three or four times greater than that written by the red laser beams. The breakthrough in blue laser technology has far-reaching implications for both the size and storage capacity of applications in the PC, VCR, camcorder, PDA, set-top box and video game markets.

Currently, a DVD can hold about 4.7 gigabytes. Writing with a blue laser will increase that amount to approximately 20 gigabytes. That is sufficient storage to record one full two-hour HDTV movie or four regular DVD movies. The current format CD can store 650 megabytes of information. If the compact disk is double-sided, and dual level, the blue laser can pack into the same space the equivalent of nearly 100 CDs written with an infrared laser. This new high-density technology is expected to expand the consumer and PC applications for the small form factor disks in as well.

The main reason the blue laser has been such a sought after technology is due to the size of its wavelength. Compared with today's lasers, which typically use infrared light (780 to 850 nanometers) or red light (635 to 670 nanometers), blue lasers operate at a shorter wavelength (approximately 400 nanometers). Having a shorter wavelength creates a more concentrated beam of light that can focus to a smaller spot size, and therefore, is able to store and read much more information on the same size compact disk.

The NLHV3000 series laser diodes have a 405 nm peak wavelength and a 30 mW maximum optical power output, delivering up to five times the data storage capacity of red lasers commonly used in today's DVD players.

In addition to DVD players, these violet laser diodes can replace red laser diodes currently used in video games, laser printers, and scanners.

The NLHV3000 series are manufactured using Nichia's patented indium gallium nitride (InGaN) semiconductor technology. The wavelength of InGaN violet lasers is about two-thirds the 650 nm wavelength of red laser diodes used in today's DVD players. The shorter wavelength produced by InGaN contributes to the five-fold increase in data storage capacity of the next generation DVD discs. The increased optical power output of the NLHV3000 series enables the violet laser to not only read data but also write data for the next generation of higher density optical discs.

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