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Rohm ramps up red laser power

16 Jan 2004

Rohm is set to produce 500 000 high-output lasers per month for high-speed DVD recorders from April.

From Compound Semiconductor

Japanese diode laser manufacturer Rohm has developed a high-output laser with a maximum 16x capacity for DVD writing.

Samples of the 240 mW devices, which emit at around 650 nm, are currently being shipped. Volume production of 500 000 units/month will begin this April, with volumes set to increase further thereafter, said Rohm.

This production will begin at Rohm’s Kyoto plant and will subsequently come on-line at Rohm Wako.

The market for DVD recorders, DVD-R/RW, and RAM is rapidly expanding. Rohm expects 50 million units for PC use, plus a further 10 million units for audio-visual applications, to be shipped this year.

“Year 2005 is expected to show even greater growth,” said the company. “While DVD media will become indispensable for recording large volumes of data such as video, [these] larger volumes will entail longer recording times.”

Recording speed is directly related to the writing laser’s optical output and Rohm says that the 240 mW from its device is sufficient for a maximum speed of 16X DVD recording.

The company says that it has developed a new element to manage the rise in current associated with higher output.

The high-output DVD laser is also being developed in a 650 nm/780 nm monolithic two-wavelength design to meet demand from the DVD/CD multi-drive market.

Mitsubishi recently announced that it was also ramping up DVD laser diode production by 40% from March.

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