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Tuesday, February 01, 2005
NanoOpto Introduces New Wideband Achromatic Waveplate Enabling Higher Performance, Smaller Size for DVD/CD Optical Pick-up Units

SubWave(TM) Achromatic Quarter Waveplate Improves Performance and Reliability, Increases Compactness, Reduces Assembly Costs, and Simplifies the Design of DVD/CD Read/Write Drives

NanoOpto Corporation, who is applying novel design methods and proprietary nano-fabrication technology to produce a broad range of unique optical components that enable higher quality, low-cost optical components and systems, today announced the general availability of the SubWave AQWP650+, an achromatic quarter waveplate for high performance, robust, DVD/CD read/write combination drives with applications for entertainment, mobile systems and computing. This novel wideband achromatic waveplate improves performance, increases compactness, improves reliability, reduces assembly costs, and simplifies the design of DVD/CD read/write combination drives. The SubWave AQWP650+ can either be used in manufacturing as a drop-in replacement for existing quarter waveplates, or in design as the basis for more compact new optical pick-up unit architectures.

The SubWave AQWP650+ uses a proprietary nano-structure-based design to provide true zero order performance across a broad wavelength range. It provides 90(degree) (i.e., quarter wave) +/- 4(degree) of phase retardance uniformly across a 630 to 805nm wavelength range, encompassing the 650nm and 785nm wavelengths used for DVD/CD read/write operations. This device is constructed using only dielectric materials and exhibits stable optical performance and physical robustness over a broad operating temperature range. The SubWave AQWP650+ is available diced to customer specific sizes, from 1mm to 10mm on a side.

The SubWave AQWP650+ delivers improved performance for DVD/CD combination drives by virtue of its flat response to wavelength, making the optical circuit less sensitive to variations in the emitted wavelength of the 650nm and 785nm lasers and simultaneously less sensitive to deviations in optical alignment. Additionally, since the SubWave AQWP650+ combines the quarter waveplate function for both the 650nm and 785nm bands in a single device, the overall optical pick-up unit circuit design can be simplified. It allows the same optical chain to be used for multiple wavelengths, enabling the creation of smaller, simpler optical circuits - with the contingent advantages of increased compactness, improved reliability, and reduced assembly costs. Because the SubWave AQWP650+ uses only dielectrics in its composition, the likelihood of optical drive failure under both repeated use and in mobile applications can be reduced through its use.

"The SubWave AQWP650+ expands NanoOpto's waveplate product family - standard quarter waveplates for 650nm and 785nm have already been introduced - by taking full advantage of the unique physical properties of nano-optics," said Hubert Kostal, NanoOpto's Vice President of Marketing and Sales. "Furthermore, NanoOpto's proprietary design techniques and manufacturing processes can be applied to meet customer-specific requirements for high quality waveplates across a broad range of wavelengths for next generation optical pick-up unit design."

The SubWave AQWP650+ is currently available for sampling. Requests for additional information should be directed to

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