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Sony shrinks Blu-ray laser

Microscopes at the ready

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What do you get when you cross Sony with Japanese laser specialist Nichia? The answer’s a tiny blue-laser data reader module that paves the way for slimmer, cheaper and portable Blu-ray drives.

Sony/Nichia 3mm Blu-ray head

Sony/Nichia's Blu-ray head: tiny

Sony’s new laser unit measures 14 x 7.4 x 3mm and is expected to be built into slimline Blu-ray drives that can be fitted into skinny laptops, in-car entertainment systems and handheld disc players, although it hasn’t mentioned anything about introducing the laser to Blu-ray drive in the PS3.

The module can read dual-layer Blu-ray Discs, but it's not capable of forming the basis for disc writers.

Mass-production of the laser is expected to start sometime this year, Sony said, but the electronics giant wouldn't reveal when it expects the first Blu-ray products featuring the new laser to become available.

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