TOKYO Sony Corp. said Monday (April 23) it will enter the blue-violet laser market with a monthly production capacity of 1.7 million units.
Sony will take on market leaders Nichia Corp. and Sharp. Corp. Sony said it hopes to gain market share through expanded production capacity and lower prices.
Sony said it is capable of fabricating 5 million blue-violet lasers a month if devices are low-power playback diodes. Current assembly capacity is limited to 1.7 million units a month but it can be expanded to meet market demand, a Sony spokesman said.
Nichia is currently ramping up its monthly capacity to 2 million by this fall. Sharp will double monthly capacity to 500,000 units by year's end.
Sony failure to establish volume production for blue-violet laser diodes limited the initial shipment of its Playstation 3. Since the introduction of PS3 last November, Sony has focused on internal demand. "Now we are ready for full-fledged marketing of the diodes," said the spokesman.
Sampling of recording diodes began this month. Diodes with a 170-mW output power for 4x recording are available now. The SLD 3234VF comes in a 5.6-mm diameter CAN package at a sample price of ¥4,500 (about $38). The SLD3234VFI with the same output power in 3.8-mm package is priced at ¥5,000 ($42).
Sony expects to add a higher power version with 240-mW output power for 8x speed writing applications. Samples will be offered at the same price as the 170-mW version.
Sony's blue-violet laser diodes have achieved a lifetime of 10,000 hours.