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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Atmel Unveils New Laser Diode Driver Supporting HD-DVD, Blu-ray, DVD and CD Formats


Atmel announced today the availability of the ATR0881 laser diode driver IC for use in combined HD-DVD/Blu-ray, DVD, and CD drives.

The ATR0881 is housed in a 4 mm x 4 mm QFN24 package. This is the industry's smallest laser diode driver solution -- according to the company -- suited for small slim drives used in notebook computers as well as for half-height drives in desktop PCs and consumer DVD recorders.

The ATR0881's QFN housing is a lead-free paddle-up package with the exposed paddle on top to improve heat dissipation.

Although the ATR0881 has 3 outputs for connecting 3 laser diodes -- a blue (HD-DVD/Blu-ray), a red (DVD), and an infrared (CD) -- it still fits into the same small 24-pin package used by Atmel's laser diode drivers for two-output combined DVD and CD drives.

The ATR0881 is also the first of its kind with a serial interface. Whereas conventional laser diode drivers have a fixed gain between input and output, the gain of each of the ATR0881's 5 channels can be individually programmed using the serial interface. This provides greater flexibility and avoids complete re-designs if the users' gain requirements change.

The serial interface can also be used to set all parameters of the integrated oscillator including frequency, amplitude, and spread-spectrum settings.

The requirement for oscillator frequency accuracy is very high to ensure low electromagnetic interference. Due to resistor tolerances, common laser diode drivers enable a maximum accuracy of +/- 10%. In contrast, designs using the ATR0881 achieve a frequency deviation of less than +/- 5% thanks to the laser diode driver's integrated frequency counter.

The ATR0881 can optionally be set to a special synchronization mode, which synchronizes all write channels to the second channel, thus enabling the generation of very sharp output pulses for increased data security.

Samples of the ATR0881 in 4 mm x 4 mm QFN24 paddle-up packages are now available. Pricing starts at US $5.00 in quantities of 10k.


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