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Diode dearth still hindering blue-laser drive shipments?

Roll-out to be pushed back to Q4

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Laser diodes for next-generation, blue-laser optical disc drives are still in short supply, it has been claimed. The problem: diode makers are still ramping up yields of the devices and there aren't, it's said, enough to go around.

The latest allegation of tight diode supply - made by industry sources cited by DigiTimes - echoes similar claims made more than a month ago. Back then it was claimed Sony was dedicated its blue-laser diode production to its PlayStation 3 manufacturing process.

Meanwhile, Nichia, the world's largest blue-laser diode supplier, is ramping up output as fast as it can, but not as quickly as some industry players might like.

There's circumstantial evidence for all this in the hardware release schedules. So far, only Pioneer is shipping a Blu-ray burner in Europe, the BDR-101A - which we reviewed last week - while only Sony and Toshiba are offering PCs with integrated blue-laser drives.

Lite-on last week announced an external Blu-ray burner, which won't ship until the end of the year, and admitted its internal drive, originally due to have shipped by now, won't appear until October.

Similar drives from Plextor, Philips and BenQ have yet to ship, but they're still within the launch windors originally indicated by the companies. ®

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