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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.


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