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Sharp's new blue-violet laser design will speed up recording of Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs dramatically.
Sharp has announced a new laser that will triple the write speeds for high-end DVD and optical disc recorders

Sharp Corp. says its new 210 mW  (milliwatts) blue-violet laser diode will be the most powerful in the world when it ships in May.

Rival Nichia Corp., also of Japan, has already announced development of a blue-violet laser that operates at 320 mW, but the company has not indicated when the new units will become commercially available.

The good news, according to Sharp, is that consumers won't have long to wait for new optical disc recorders with records speeds of 6x, based on the new 210 mW lasers. Most currently-shipping Blu-ray and HD-DVD format disc recorders top out at 2X record speeds, though a few can manage 4X speed.

Sharp's new GH04P21A2G lasers takes advantage of crystal growth technology developed for infrared, red, and blue-violet low-power laser diodes. The 210 mW products also feature a newly developed laser chip with a proprietary facet structure, with improvements to the face from which laser light is emitted. Sharp also claims that the new component will provide an industry-leading service life of 10,000 hours.

After releasing sample quantities in May, volume production of 250,000 units per month is scheduled to commence in June. Preliminary information does not indicate that consumers can expect any price breaks when DVD and data recorders based on the new 6X devices hit the market. Sample pricing for the Sharp GH04P21A2G component has been announced at 50,000 yen, or about $423 U.S. dollars.

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$423 for the laser?
By FITCamaro on 3/14/2007 1:53:47 PM , Rating: 3
Blu-ray and HD DVD can forget any mass adoption this year then. I won't pay $425 for a movie player much less just for the laser. Personally even if I was interested in Blu-ray or HD DVD, I'm still smart enough to wait until the formats have solidified and one or the other wins before buying a player. I'll let the rich idiots out there be the guinea pigs.

RE: $423 for the laser?
By oTAL on 3/14/2007 2:20:15 PM , Rating: 5
So does (almost) everyone else... That's why format wars hurt everyone... consumers, industry, and content owners...
I still don't understand how the conversation to unify the format could break down with so much to loose on both sides... this will probably end up a DVD+RW vs DVD-RW kind of situation where dual readers and dual writers will be the norm (which will end up favoring BD on PCs due to price per GB). Still, the slower adoption rate will keep prices up for a longer time and it will be a long time before we make HD CE devices ubiquitous in the living room....
Looks like DVDs will hang around for a long while....

RE: $423 for the laser?
By Oregonian2 on 3/14/2007 2:21:30 PM , Rating: 2
The $425 is for sample pricing (onsie/threesie-quantity and "now", pre-production). The production quantity pricing should be VERY substantially lower.

RE: $423 for the laser?
By BMFPitt on 3/14/2007 2:23:10 PM , Rating: 3
If you needed a bleeding edge technology for BD writers in order to play movies, I see how your point might be valid.

I agree that neither format will be mass adopted anytime soon though, but for the cost of the movies - not the players (which will most likely be under $200 by the end of the year.)

RE: $423 for the laser?
By SunAngel on 3/14/07, Rating: -1
RE: $423 for the laser?
By Spartan Niner on 3/14/2007 6:27:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, and new technology is always free of flaws and absolutely wonderful.

I can wait for the early adopters to report back on the inevitable discovery of issues after a product launch.

RE: $423 for the laser?
By ElJefe69 on 3/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: $423 for the laser?
By Lakku on 3/14/2007 8:21:50 PM , Rating: 4
I don't like being called an idiot, let alone a rich idiot. I happen to enjoy my BD and HD-DVD content on my HDTV, but dont call me an idiot for spending money on what I felt like spending money on, especially if you don't have the desire or means to do so. And for the record, I don't especially like being called an idiot from the person who is obviously deaf and can't hear a launch Xbox 360 from 5 feet away.

RE: $423 for the laser?
By timmiser on 3/15/2007 3:51:23 AM , Rating: 2
Did you even read the article? These are burners. There are many of us who record high def home movies that have been waiting for a couple years for HD burners.

If you knew what you were talking about then you would know that $425 for a 6x HD burner is a great starting price. You can't even buy a consumer level HD-DVD burner and the Blue Ray 2X burners are over $500.

Quit nagging
By jappe666 on 3/14/2007 6:27:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don’t get it either, why all this meaningless bi***ing when new products are introduced. People willingly paid $ 500-700 for a VCR, basically all throughout the first half of the 80’s, $ 400-500 was common for a DVD even in its second year out and don’t even mention what people paid for computers back in the days. And $ 500 15-20 years ago, forget about it! Embrace new technology and don’t complain so much when brand new tech. costs $ 425 or a Blu Ray or HD DVD costs $ 700, that’s how it goes!!!!

RE: Quit nagging
By Spartan Niner on 3/14/2007 6:32:06 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever heard of the concept of utility ? Sure I may get a bit more utility out of newer technology, but at what cost to me? If the increase in utility is only marginal (for example, I don't have an HDTV) then there is simply no compelling reason for me to adopt either the BD or HD formats until prices go down, or I get a display which will benefit from high-def content.

RE: Quit nagging
By Lakku on 3/14/2007 8:19:18 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for your input Shirlock Holmes. You don't have an HDTV so BD and HD-DVD are useless for you... did you figure that out all on your own? Have you ever heard of the concept of some people have different 'needs' then you do?

RE: Quit nagging
By MrDiSante on 3/14/2007 8:51:19 PM , Rating: 1
If you're attempting to use proper grammar, then make sure that your spelling is impeccable. It's "Sherlock" and "than". The word "then" refers to passage of time, while "than" is a comparison of one thing to another.

RE: Quit nagging
By MrDiSante on 3/14/2007 8:51:22 PM , Rating: 1
If you're attempting to use proper grammar, then make sure that your spelling is impeccable. It's "Sherlock" and "than". The word "then" refers to passage of time, while "than" is a comparison of one thing to another.

RE: Quit nagging
By kilkennycat on 3/14/2007 6:35:59 PM , Rating: 3
Yep. The guinea-pigs, er I mean "early adopters", always pay the bulk of the development and start-up costs : -)

Triple the write times?
By killerroach on 3/14/2007 1:58:19 PM , Rating: 2
Shouldn't that be "triple the write speeds" in that top line? Last I checked, there wasn't an 18x Blu-Ray writer out there (and if there was, I'd be wanting to know where to get one, heh).

RE: Triple the write times?
By threepac3 on 3/14/2007 3:32:03 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think there will ever be an 18x BR player. Just like there are no 56x DVD players.

RE: Triple the write times?
By JediSmurf on 3/14/2007 4:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it should be "triple the write speeds" as tripling the write times would be making the process 2/3rds slower than it already is! What does this have to do with an 18x BR writer? That would be multiplying by another factor of 3.

RE: Triple the write times?
By TSS on 3/15/2007 7:02:38 AM , Rating: 2
that triple write times doesnt mean the 6x laser is going to be tripled it means that 6x is 3 times the now common speed, 2x.

seriously see the connection please.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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