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Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Atmel Unveils Read-only Laser Diode Driver IC for HD-DVD/Blu-ray Players

Atmel announced today the availability of its new ATR0885 laser diode driver IC for use in combined HD-DVD/Blu-ray, DVD, CD players and PC CD-ROM drives.

Since the new ATR0885 is available in very small packages, it is particularly suitable for small SLIM drives used in notebook computers, as well as for half-height drives used in desktop PCs and consumer DVD players.

The ATR0885 contains three outputs, each of which can be used for either the connection of blue laser diodes with a wavelength of 405 nm (HD-DVD/Blu-ray), DVD laser diodes with a wavelength of 780 nm, or CD laser diodes with 650 nm. This means the designer can chose the output optimally located in a specific design so that the connection lines are as short as possible. This allows the creation of designs which are smaller and more cost-efficient.

Up to now, a cost-efficient HD-DVD/Blu-ray/DVD/CD system required the use of four devices: three oscillator chips and one transimpedance amplifier, whereas the ATR0885 makes it possible to build a cost-efficient blue laser system with only one IC.

Blue laser diodes used for HD-DVD and Blu-ray systems need a voltage source, which is capable of handling higher voltages than the 5V commonly used for DVD and CD laser diodes. To meet this demand, each of the ATR0885's three outputs has a separate voltage supply pin providing up to 8V.

For automatic power control, a transimpedance amplifier is integrated and supports all three output channels. The gain of each channel can be set separately by using three individual resistors.

An integrated oscillator reduces laser mode hopping. Using one external resistor, a frequency range from 200 to 500 MHz can be set for all outputs. Three additional resistors allow a swing of up to 100 mA (peak-to-peak) for each output separately. The oscillator can optionally be set in a spread-spectrum mode to reduce electro-magnetic interferences.

Samples of the ATR0885 are available now in very small QFN24 packages which are both Pb-free and green. Pricing starts at 2.60 US$ in quantities of 10k.

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