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.