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Sharp creates laser for quadruple-layer Blu-ray discs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 11 Sep 2009 16:04 User comments (13)

Sharp creates laser for quadruple-layer Blu-ray discs Sharp has announced they have created a blue-violet semiconductor laser that can read and write up to quadruple-layer (100GB) Blu-ray discs.
The laser has optical output of up to 500mW, much higher than current capacities. According to Tech-On, the laser has "an oscillation wavelength of 405nm and a capability of writing at 8x speed on triple- and quadruple-layer Blu-ray discs."

There was no word on when Sharp will begin mass producing the laser, but they have begun producing a 320mW maximum output semiconductor laser just 3 months ago.

Tech-On explains how the new laser works: "Sharp enhanced the optical output by using a new method of processing the edge face of a resonator. Normally, the edge face of a crystal in a semiconductor laser is protected by a dielectric film. This time, the company formed an aluminum oxynitride (AlON) film between the edge face of the semiconductor laser and the dielectric film by a sputtering method and realized an epitaxial growth where the growth axis of the laser's crystal corresponds to that of the AlON crystal."

The laser is stable and has over 1000 test hours under high stress. It is ready to be commercialized when triple and quadruple-layer BD are standarized.

Pic via Tech-On

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13 user comments

111.9.2009 16:24

Since a new laser was developed for triple/quad-layer discs does that mean that all current players will be "obsolete" when new movies are being released on triple/quad layer discs?

If so that sucks since that means future discs won't be readable (at least past layer 2, if at all) by current generation hardware. If this requires a new Blu-Ray player to play titles in the future it isn't good for the mass adoption of Blu-Ray.

The reason why is because this development forces everyone to buy a new player to watch the newest movies (when triple/quad-layer ones come out) despite their previous player being just a few years old.

Peace

211.9.2009 18:45

I spent over $400 on my Blu-ray Player on boxing day last year. Then this year, they release upgraded versions of the one I bought. Now this comes out? This is getting out of hand. If all blu-ray owners have to buy a new player to play these discs, I might consider dropping blu-ray altogether until a new format comes out.

Sad thing is that this is a recurring thing. Apple releases new iPods every year with features that should have been including a long time ago, MS & Sony, keep releasing upgraded consoles, and the prices aren’t getting any cheaper.

They are trying to milk as much money out of everyone as they can, when they should put more time and effort into creating quality devices that won't need an upgrade for a very long time.

311.9.2009 18:58

As I understand it, the increased power laser is needed to burn the 3rd and 4th layer, not to be able to read it. So, if you already have a BD burner, you will still only be able to Burn 2 layers but be able to read the 3rd and 4th layer.

edit: didn't Pioner already produce and burn 4 layer disk last year?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Sep 2009 @ 19:00

411.9.2009 19:11

Originally posted by glassd:
edit: didn't Pioner already produce and burn 4 layer disk last year?
Pioneer developed a 16 layer 400GB disc which is readable in ALL BD drives. The specifications for the PUH or pick-up head for these multi-layer discs are the same so they can be read by regular BD drives.

What's different is the burning laser which allows you to go beyond the second layer. You need a new burner or recorder for these 4 to 16 layer blanks but you don't need a new drive to read them.

Pioneer showcases 16-layer 400GB optical disc

Quote:
The technology of the super multi-layer read-only disc is based on Blu-ray Disc (BD) with a breakthrough in material of reflective layers, according to Pioneer High Fidelity Taiwan. The specifications of the pick-up head (PUH) of the disc is the same as those for the PUH of blank BD discs, and therefore the Pioneer discs can be read on BD players, the company said.

511.9.2009 19:12

Originally posted by glassd:
As I understand it, the increased power laser is needed to burn the 3rd and 4th layer, not to be able to read it. So, if you already have a BD burner, you will still only be able to Burn 2 layers but be able to read the 3rd and 4th layer.

edit: didn't Pioner already produce and burn 4 layer disk last year?
I'm not sure on the Pioneer thing. However, the article says the new layer "can read and write up to quadruple-layer (100GB) Blu-ray discs." All current lasers might be able to read past the 2nd layer but from that line of the article it doesn't look too promising.

611.9.2009 19:17

Look here:

Pioneer 400GB Blu-ray discs will play on PS3

Quote:
The manufacturer Pioneer has confirmed that its upcoming 16-layer Blu-ray discs will play back on most current standalone Blu-ray players including the Sony PlayStation 3.
The pick-up head on all current BD drives can read these multi-layer discs.

711.9.2009 19:28

Quote:
Originally posted by glassd:
As I understand it, the increased power laser is needed to burn the 3rd and 4th layer, not to be able to read it. So, if you already have a BD burner, you will still only be able to Burn 2 layers but be able to read the 3rd and 4th layer.

edit: didn't Pioner already produce and burn 4 layer disk last year?
I'm not sure on the Pioneer thing. However, the article says the new layer "can read and write up to quadruple-layer (100GB) Blu-ray discs." All current lasers might be able to read past the 2nd layer but from that line of the article it doesn't look too promising.

http://digitimes.com/news/a20081201PD212.html

Non-firmware-upgradable existing players may be SoL on 3+ layer BDs.

811.9.2009 19:41

Originally posted by xnonsuchx:
Non-firmware-upgradable existing players may be SoL on 3+ layer BDs.
LOL. I haven't seen a BD player that has not needed a firmware update.

Even the first generation launch players from Samsung and Sony were firmware upgradeable.

http://www.samsung.com/us/support/detail...l_name=BD-P1000

http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/swu-dow...=4695&mdl=BDPS1

911.9.2009 19:45

Quote:
Originally posted by xnonsuchx:
Non-firmware-upgradable existing players may be SoL on 3+ layer BDs.
LOL. I haven't seen a BD player that has not needed a firmware update.

Even the first generation launch players from Samsung and Sony were firmware upgradeable.


But the 'cheapie' $100-200 models originally (still?) sold are not upgradeable, I believe.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Sep 2009 @ 19:46

1011.9.2009 19:53

Originally posted by xnonsuchx:
But the 'cheapie' $100-200 models originally (still?) sold are not upgradeable, I believe.
The "cheapie" Magnavox, Sylvania and Insignia models (all manufactured by Funai) already have firmware updates:

http://www.funai-corp.com/support/updates.aspx
http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=48943&highlight=funai

1111.9.2009 20:02

Quote:
Originally posted by xnonsuchx:
But the 'cheapie' $100-200 models originally (still?) sold are not upgradeable, I believe.
The "cheapie" Magnavox, Sylvania and Insignia models (all manufactured by Funai) already have firmware updates:

http://www.funai-corp.com/support/updates.aspx
http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?...t=funai



Hmmm...I could swear I'd seen several reviews/announcements/etc. that said the players didn't have upgradeable firmware. Maybe some aren't customer-upgradeable (a service center has to do it)??? Or maybe they were only referring to 1.0/1.1 profile units (usually the cheap ones) not being upgradeable to 2.x profile. Oh well, it doesn't affect me since I don't buy the cheap stuff anyway. ;-)

1212.9.2009 6:19

Just because the firmware can be updated, this does not mean that there will be updates available. I have a big pile of old computer parts that would work perfectly with Windows 7 if someone were to write drivers for them...but they are useless in vista/win7 because their creators have stopped supporting them (a few of them are still being sold despite the lack of vista support!).

Also, just because the laser in the PS3 can read 16 layer pressed discs, this does not mean that it can read 4 layer burned disks. On top of that, everyone uses different lasers. Some of these lasers are so weak that they have trouble reading disks with just two layers...I seriously doubt these units will be able to read 4 layers...especialy burned 4 layers.

1312.9.2009 16:04

Glad I havenot bought a Blue-ray ODD yet. I believe that I will wait a little untill the dust clears....

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