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Sanyo develops blue diode laser

17 Jun 2002

The Japanese electronics giant plans to begin mass production of 405 nm devices in April 2003.

Sanyo, the Japanese electronics manufacturer, claims to have developed a blue semiconductor laser for next-generation DVD players.

Crucially, the company says that its manufacturing method does not infringe any patents held by Nichia, the Japanese company that has cornered the blue diode laser market.

Sanyo claims that its ion implantation technique gives the gallium nitride devices the added benefit of low noise and enhanced stability. The company also says that this simplifies the production process making mass manufacture more straightforward.

The Sanyo device operates in a single transverse mode and comes in a 5.6 mm diameter package. Output power is 5 mW at an operating current of 45 mA, with a threshold current of 40 mA, it is claimed. Beam divergence is 8° in the horizontal plane and 30° in the vertical.

The company says that it plans to start test shipments this autumn and begin mass production in April 2003. The blue diode laser market is expected to take off over the next couple of years as the components are fundamental to next-generation DVD players.

Michael Hatcher is technology editor of Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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