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Wednesday, December 12, 2001
Atmel extends its laser driver family for next-generation DVD/CD drives


Atmel Corporation announced today the availability of 2 new members of its laser diode driver IC family for next-generation DVD/CD drives. The 4-channel laser driver IC T0820 and the 3-channel laser driver IC T0816 are innovative, cost-effective solutions especially designed for high-speed DVD- and CD-R/RW (Read/ Read and Write) end products.

Atmel's objective is to provide various solutions to meet the designers' different needs. Each of the new laser driver family members is dedicated to a specific application requirement.

An earlier-introduced 3-channel laser diode driver IC T0815 is designed for high-speed CD-R/RW (Read/ Read and Write) end products where cost-effective design-in is an issue. The APC (Adaptive Power Amplifier) on the T0815 enables the direct connection of a front-end monitor diode, eliminating the use of an external operation amplifier and thus reducing system cost.

The new 3-channel laser driver IC T0816 is functionally identical to the T0815 but has the APC function not on chip for those CD applications where the design requires that the APC is applied externally. The T0816 is Atmel's most cost-effective laser driver IC, its low complexity enables easy and quick design-in.

The 4-channel laser driver IC T0820 also targets those applications where the APC function will not be on-chip. In contrast to the other laser drivers, however, the new T0820 is well suited for today's DVD-RW drives (4x to 8x re-write speed), currently being introduced on the market, and next-generation CD-RW drives with 16x to 24x re-write speed. This laser driver supports the fastest write-time available today. Current-generation CD-R/RW drives available on the market provide a CD re-write speed of 10x, new products in production will reach a speed of 10x to 16x.

To achieve increased speed, the used laser driver needs to provide high output current and a specific rise/ fall time. The T0820 includes four channels for different optical power levels. The first (read) channel and the second channel contribute up to 150 mA, the channels 3 and 4 up to 200 mA of the output current. Together, they deliver an output current of up to 300 mA. The T0820's rise/fall time of 1.0 ns meets the system engineers' requirements to enable new high-speed designs.

An on-chip RF oscillator reduces laser mode hopping noise during read mode. Frequency and swing can be set by two external resistors.

Samples of the T0820 and the T0816 in SSO16 packages are available now. Pricing starts at 2.50 US$ for the T0820 and at 2.10 US$ for the T0816 (both at 10 k).


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