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Sony increases Blu-ray laser production and promises cheaper diodes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 30 Apr 2007 19:44 User comments (4)

Sony increases Blu-ray laser production and promises cheaper diodes According to Semiconductor Today, Shiroishi Semiconductor Inc., a subsidary of Sony, has claimed that they will be increasing production of the blue-violet laser diodes used in all Blu-ray Disc drives to an industry-leading 1.7 million diodes per month. The company has also set plans in motion to increase production to 5 million a month soon.
Increased production of the diodes will help lower prices of Blur-ray drives for consumers and hopefully lower the price of Sony's PlayStation 3

"The right question to ask is whether the full bill of materials is below $499, allowing them to cut price and still avoid losing money. I'm not competent to answer whether it is, but I am competent to say that when cost is below $499, we should look for a cut to that level,"
Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter told GameDaily BIZ. "The point is that if they're ramping capacity to [5 million diodes], they probably are coming down the cost curve for MPEG chips, dedicated disc drive processors, and every other component. Hard to say for sure, but I'd guess that Sony could squeeze a hundred dollars out of its cost by mid-year, maybe more."

"My guess is that you will see a price cut this year,"
he continued. "I think that the introduction of the Xbox 360 Elite gives Sony an opportunity to cut price and claim that they offer Blu-ray for only $20 more."

Sony has called its commitment to Blu-ray the smartest decision it ever made and hopefully this huge increase in diode production will lower the price of the PS3 for the consumer and really get this format war started.

Source:
Dailytech

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4 user comments

130.4.2007 20:54
sisneros
Inactive

This sounds like a good move by Sony to me although Sony has already said they do not plan on lowering the price of the PS3 at all. Even so, if they are going to be making 5 million a month, thats gonna bring down the price of the stand alone players and hopefully, maybe, eventually, bring down the price of the PS3 which would be awesome, but again, no guarantee. Can't wait to see what all 360 lovers have to say about this though ;-)

21.5.2007 4:49
hughjars
Inactive

Last I heard the diodes were down from $60 or so to $8.

So I doubt this will mean a hell of a lot on it's own.

The BD cost problem relates to the unnecessarily high spec they saddled themselves; the drive has to have more parts and of a more expensive spec.
(it's all down to the smaller 'pits' used - which is how come BD gets 25gb per layer and HD DVD 17gb)

Unlike the HD DVD drive they cannot just use SD DVD parts and 'graft on' the blue laser stuff.

31.5.2007 23:32

Quote:
Sony has called its commitment to Blu-ray the smartest decision it ever made and hopefully this huge increase in diode production will lower the price of the PS3 for the consumer and really get this format war started.
I'll believe it when i see it :)

42.5.2007 9:44
hughjars
Inactive

Diode costs will fall - as I said they have already from approx $60 to $8 already anyways.

If Sony increase production all that means is higher net availability from all the producers.

Everybody's blue laser diode costs will fall - including Toshiba's and that of the HD DVD.

I suspect Sony losses are such on the PS3 that they just use this and any similar efficiencies to offset their own losses per unit produced and that they will not actually cut prices in any meaningful way to the consumer.

They have said as much themselves anyways.

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