updated 08:25 am EST, Thu February 14, 2008
Sharp 6X BD Notebook Drive
Sharp today said it had developed a new laser that could enable far faster Blu-ray burning in portables than possible today. Courtesy of a new crystal growth technology and a smaller processor, the Japanese firm says it has produced a laser which measures just 3.3mm (0.13in) in diameter but which can record a dual-layer, 50GB Blu-ray disc at speeds between 4X and 6X. The size allows for a slim notebook drive but writes between two and three times faster than current drives. A slightly larger 5.6mm (0.22in) laser for desktop-sized drives has also resulted from the process.
Sharp plans to mass-produce the Blu-ray lasers starting in April; samples for individual manufacturers testing the laser will cost the equivalent of $462, though the actual cost should be far lower for shipping drives. Sharp has not said who its customers will be, but typically supplies these parts to outside drive manufacturers. [via Impress]
3.3mm laser (left), 5.6mm laser (right)