Sony Works With University To Create New Blu-ray Laser

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News Posted: Tue, Jul 27 2010 11:35 AM
Right from the start, Sony has been one of Blu-ray's largest fans, and also one of the company's pouring the most money into marketing the format. Many people assumed that Blu-ray was a format created by Sony at first, but it's actually not. Nevertheless, Sony is now helping to advance Blu-ray into the next level, teaming with Tohoku University in order to develop a blue-violet laser with a 100W output. This may not sound too important on the surface, but it holds a lot of promise. What kind of promise? According to reports, this invention could lead to 1TB optical discs.


That's a fair bit larger than the 50GB Blu-ray Discs that we have today, and while there have already been plans made for a 128GB optical disc, being able to archive a full terabyte onto a single disc would be revolutionary. The team has jointly developed a laser which has a peak output that's 100x that of the world's highest current levels, and while it's rather difficult for the layperson to understand, this new one is capable of using a nonlinear optical process known as two-photon absorption, which occurs only as a result of high intensity optical pulses.

There's been no public announcement made about when this laser will actually lead to new products, but we're guessing they wouldn't be working on this if it weren't in the pipeline.

Tohoku University and Sony Corporation jointly develop the world’s first blue-violet ultrafast pulsed semiconductor laser with 100 watt output

The path to practical light-source in next-generation large-capacity optical disc storage & for nano-fabrication...

Professor Hiroyuki Yokoyama of the New Industry Creation Hatchery Center (NICHe), Tohoku University (hereafter, 'Tohoku University'), and Advanced Materials Laboratories, Sony Corporation (hereafter, 'Sony'), have succeeded in jointly developing a blue-violet ultrafast pulsed semiconductor laser*2 with dramatically improved peak laser beam output levels that are 100 times that of the world's current highest levels.


    * Beam emitted by the blue-violet ultrafast pulsed semiconductor laser.
      (Image above: arrow indicates the semiconductor optical amplifier)
    * The newly-developed blue-violet semiconductor laser (right)
      The newly-developed semiconductor optical amplifier (left)

This latest successful development is an all-semiconductor laser picosecond pulse source with a laser wavelength of 405 nanometers (1 nm = one-billionth of a meter) in the blue-violet region. It is capable of generating optical pulses in the ultrafast duration of 3 picoseconds (1 picosecond = one-trillionth of a second), with ultrahigh output peak power of 100 watts and repetition frequency of 1 gigahertz. Advanced control of the newly-developed and proprietarily-constructed GaN-based mode-locked semiconductor laser*3 and semiconductor optical amplifier*4 have enabled peak output power in excess of 100 watts to be achieved, which is more than a hundred times the world’s highest output value for conventional blue-violet pulse semiconductor lasers.


Although there have been ultra high-output laser devices combining solid-state lasers*5 and a second harmonic generation unit for high functionality and high-value leading-edge chemical research applications in the past, the light source box itself was bulky and a specialist technician was required to ensure the stable operation of the laser. There are high expectations that this newly-developed semiconductor laser system, which incorporates semiconductor diodes, can have a much wider range of future applications. For instance, this technology enables the size of components such as the light source box to be drastically reduced.

This newly-developed ultra high-output, ultrafast pulsed semiconductor laser light source is capable of using a nonlinear optical process known as two-photon absorption*6, which occurs only as a result of high intensity optical pulses. When light from the laser beam is concentrated on the lens, it creates chemical and thermal changes in the vicinity of the lens focus spot which is narrower than even the diameter of the focus spot of the lens itself. It is anticipated that application of these properties will be possible in a wide range of fields such as three-dimensional (3D) nano-fabrication of inorganic/organic materials in the order of nanometers, and next-generation large-capacity optical disc storage.

Sony tested the principles for applying this technology in next-generation large-capacity optical disc-storage by creating void marks with a diameter of approximately 300 nanometers at intervals of 3 micrometers on the interior of plastic material, and successfully read these marks with the laser beam.

These experimental results have been achieved through integration of Tohoku University’s fundamental technology on ultrashort pulse lasers (Tohoku University is promoting joint research program for industry-academic collaboration based on materials and devices), and Sony’s fundamental technology on semiconductor laser diodes. Hereafter, Tohoku University and Sony will work to further develop its fundamental technology for creating even higher output and multi-functionality, while developing the practical applications of this technology to make these systems even more compact and stable.

These research findings were also published in the latest edition of the US academic journal, 'Applied Physics Letters'. (Appl. Phys. Lett. volume 97, issue 2, page 021101 (2010); doi:10.1063/1.3462942 (3 pages), Online Publication Date: 12 July 2010 )
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AKwyn replied on Tue, Jul 27 2010 12:38 PM

Such promise indeed, now we're probably going to be getting 1TB discs that people won't know what to do with except business people who always have to seem a use for 1TB discs.

 

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Chainzsaw replied on Tue, Jul 27 2010 2:03 PM
Nice, but how many gigs of data will be lost if you accidentaly drop and dent one of these whenever they come out? I could see the laser misreading some information due to specs of dust, especially at these microscopic levels.

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acarzt replied on Tue, Jul 27 2010 2:34 PM

Man.... I can't imagine any media that would need that much storage on a optial disc like that.... That's a huge amount of storage! We can't even fill our 25GB discs... how are we gonna fill 1TB? lol

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Inspector replied on Tue, Jul 27 2010 6:01 PM

You will need that 1TB disk for future movies that will take up 1TB cause of the future quality and added useless stuff just so it will be a full disk :P

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3vi1 replied on Tue, Jul 27 2010 7:43 PM

STAR WARS: THE PENULTIMATE COLLECTORS EDITION pt. 19.

"All on one disc, including commentary by George Lucas's adopted children - who have re-mastered the entire series to be in the format of a Gungan musical, like George originally envisioned."

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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AKwyn replied on Tue, Jul 27 2010 9:04 PM

Inspector:

You will need that 1TB disk for future movies that will take up 1TB cause of the future quality and added useless stuff just so it will be a full disk :P

Hey Inspector, you forgot about the fact where the resolution is apparently 4X4. :P

 

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Yeah I wonder how long it will take Lucas to sue? Or even sue 3vi1 for mentioning Star Wars...Oh wait I did to...Uh-Oh!

Oh well he will have to go after the Darth vader bank robber first:P

A 1TB disc would be nice and all, but where are the Crystal storage units we were promised in the early nineties? I guess they were just thinking of Meth!:P

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coolice replied on Wed, Jul 28 2010 12:13 AM

huh... if that ever gets available to the public... i wonder how long it will take to burn a 1000 gigs of date... cause i'll be damned, thats a lot of data.

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acarzt replied on Wed, Jul 28 2010 12:41 AM

Assuming it could write at about 20MB/s it would take about 14 hours lol

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realneil replied on Wed, Jul 28 2010 12:21 PM

You can clone a hard drive much quicker than that. I've been cloning drives for backups for years,.... works good too.

Hard drives will also be far less expensive to buy, I'll bet.

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Wait wait wait wait, 100w laser?! Do you guys have any idea how powerful that is!? The most powerful hand held device today is the recently released 1w unit and this would be a whole lot smaller.

You basicly will have a laser in the player that will set people on fire while burning a hole through them. It would take no more than a couple of seconds to light wet wood on fire. CRAZY.

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Humm maybe the PS4 will have this so it can support 2160p and 3d at the same time.....Drool 

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acarzt replied on Wed, Jul 28 2010 4:39 PM

InfinityzeN:

Wait wait wait wait, 100w laser?! Do you guys have any idea how powerful that is!? The most powerful hand held device today is the recently released 1w unit and this would be a whole lot smaller.

You basicly will have a laser in the player that will set people on fire while burning a hole through them. It would take no more than a couple of seconds to light wet wood on fire. CRAZY.

Sooo.... what you're saying is... when they say not too look into the laser.... the mean it?

Or are you telling my I should remove the laser and make a weapon out of it and shoot it on my friends eyes and laugh at them when they start screaming in pain Big Smile

"Haha! Got ya! Quit crying, you're acting like a baby... it's just a laser!"

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Well the 1w laser I was talking about (also a blue laser) can blind you with reflected light and will instantly blind you for life if shined into your eyes.  It also will cause skin cancer really easily (blue lasers are really nasty).

This thing wouldn't just blind you, it would burn your eyes out.  You would end up looking like Reeves in The Matrix 3.  Hell, there is a 100w IR laser on sale today called the "Death Ray" which will kill you pretty damn dead pretty damn fast.  Of course, it requires a big honking tube/emitter/refractor, massive power converter, and a bunch of other stuff.  Something that would fit into a DVD/BD player could easily be made hand held and even without change to current battery tech, could support over a minute and a half of laser in a hand held (the 1w last for 2.5~3 hours).

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acarzt replied on Thu, Jul 29 2010 11:38 PM

Someone is going to go on a rampage with one of these things.

Frightening

Indifferent

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fat78 replied on Fri, Jul 30 2010 7:07 AM

Any one else thinking james bond's laser wristwatch in the making.

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As long as they don't put them on the heads of freaking sharks man...

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Then the sharks would be Blue and wouldnt feel like attackingConfused

Out here they now have a law where it is illegal to hunt sharksStick out tongue

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