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Sony develops cheaper Blu-ray laser

by on28 January 2008

An effort to reduce cost

Sony has developed a new cheaper Blu-ray laser unit that is only 3mm thick. The laser unit is one of the most expensive parts in the Blu-ray drive. The cost of the laser unit is one of the major stumbling blocks in reducing the price of Blu-ray drives in both the standalone units, as well as the PlayStation 3.

In addition, the new reduced size will pave the way for size reductions in the physical drive, meaning that drives with a physical thickness of 9.5mm would not be possible; this will lead to laptop Blu-ray units as well as portable Blu-ray players.

According to reports, in addition to the ability to be able to produce drives with a smaller physical form factor, the new laser unit improves the ability of the laser to read dual layer Blu-ray discs as well as the ability to read organic media.

It has been said that reading dual layer Blu-ray discs is a continuing problem for the current generation of Blu-ray drives, if Blu-ray dual layer discs are even able to be replicated in yields that are acceptable for resale.

Some analysts now believe that once the new laser unit is in wide spread availability that sub $300 standalone Blu-ray players may start showing up in big quantities. In addition, the cost reduction of the laser unit could spark another round of price cuts on the Sony PlayStation 3, which could in turn help it become more competitive with the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii.

The laser unit cost reduction, along with an upcoming die shrink to 65nm for the PlayStation 3, could see the console finally able to gain some traction if Sony is able to get software developers to get wholly behind the unit.

Last modified on 28 January 2008
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