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Appeared on: Wednesday, September 11, 2002
Intersil releases industry's first Blu-Ray disc format Laser

Intersil Corporation (Nasdaq:ISIL), a world leader in the design and manufacture of high performance analog and wireless networking solutions, today announced the release of the world's first laser driver designed specifically for the new Blu-Ray Disc industry-standard disc-recording format. The Blu-Ray Disc standard is the next-generation recording technology beyond DVD that dramatically increases recording density by using a shorter-wavelength 405-nm blue-violet laser - compared to the conventional longer-wavelength 650-nm red laser used for today's DVD technology.

"Intersil is once again leading the industry in the next wave of video and data storage technology. The EL6900C and the Blu-Ray Disc recording standard satisfy the surging demand for increased disc-based video and data recording capacity, " said Michelle Abraham, senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "We project this new technology will propel the DVD rewritable market to 62 million units in 2006."

The Blu-Ray Disc shorter-wavelength laser enables a smaller spot size and track pitch to be recorded on the disc and thus increases the storage density from 4.7 to 27 GB on a single side disc. The 27-GB Blu-Ray Disc format is targeted into a variety of applications including PC archival data storage Ultra Density Optical (UDO) drives and Consumer digital video recorders (DVR) to record up to two hours of high-definition television (HDTV) on a single 120-mm DVD/CD size disc.

"The EL6900C is our first product offering on our roadmap of Blu-Ray Disc format write strategy laser drivers and demonstrates our commitment to developing the first industry-enabling products for emerging high growth Optical Disc Storage Markets," said Mohan Maheswaran, vice president and general manager of Intersil's Elantec Product Group. "We will continue to develop state of the art products that enable increasing write-speed performance and integration of system-level features that offer the highest performance and most cost effective system-level solution in the industry."

How the EL6900C Implements the Blu-Ray Disc Standard

The innovative architecture of the EL6900C programmable laser driver has the Blu-Ray Disc standard write-strategy waveforms integrated into its high-speed waveform generator. This eliminates the need to drive high-speed timing signals and the critical accuracy write-current power levels over the flex cable. Instead, these signals are all programmed digitally and converted internally to the analog output to drive the laser. This results in a dramatic reduction in time and amplitude noise. In addition, multi-level programmability increases the fidelity of the write operation and enables this architecture to breakthrough the performance limits and design problems of existing parallel architecture laser diode drivers.

"The EL6900C integrates key functions needed to simplify the design of closed-loop automatic power control. This is a major breakthrough and will enable increasing write performance, flexibility and lower-cost system solutions over existing architectures," said Stephen P. Sacarisen, marketing director for Intersil's Optical Products Group.

EL6900C Technical Description

The EL6900C offers significant performance and cost-saving benefits. On-chip real-time power control is provided because the EL6900C includes a two-channel sample-and-hold amplifier that can be programmed for four separate gains under register control. Time and manufacturing costs are further reduced because each channel has an 8-bit calibration DAC to eliminate the need for external potentiometers, normally required for external calibration at manufacturing.

Each channel's 210-MHz clock speed enables up to 3X Blu-Ray Disc write performance. Closed-loop automatic power control (APC) is supported with the EL6900's additional Islope and IAPC inputs. A separate high-current driver for the laser is not needed because the EL6900C contains a high-current output that directly drives current into the blue-violet laser. A digital serial bus makes it easy to program the internal command and data registers. Other features include: programmable amplitude and frequency modulation, low- noise read amplifier, programmable laser slope compensation DAC and programmable laser threshold current DAC.

EL6900C Key Features

- Blu-Ray Disc standard
- Complete highly integrated laser diode driver
- High-current output for direct laser drive
- On-chip real-time power control
- 8-bit X 8-bit multiplying DAC output provides 8-bit full-scale adjustment and 8-bit resolution at any full-scale output
- Two analog inputs support slope and read automatic power control -- 120-ps timer resolution
- HFM oscillator programmable to 100 mAp-p from 100 to 500 MHz
- PLL allows reduced clock frequency on flex cable
- Serial data input works up to 25 MHz
- Dual sampled I/V amplifier with programmable sample select and gain select"

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