Japanese consumer electronics maker Sharp said on Tuesday it has
started the commercial production of blue laser diodes, taking
aim at a market with strong growth potential.
Sharp in November began volume output of blue laser diodes, used
to read and write data on high-definition optical discs, at
150,000 units a month at its existing plant in western Japan,
Sharp spokesman Hiroshi Takenami said.
The diodes can be used in DVD players based on the Blu-ray
format, championed by Sony, as well as competing HD DVD
technology, promoted by Toshiba.
Sharp, which is entering the market dominated by Sony and
unlisted Nichia, plans to bring the monthly capacity to 500,000
units by the end of 2007, spending several billion yen.
Takenami declined to comment on Sharp's sales target, but the
Nihon Keizai Shimbun business daily said the Osaka-based company
aims for annual blue laser diode sales of about 15 billion yen
($127.2 million) at the initial stage.