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20 January 2009


Mitsubishi Electric launches record-power 110mW 638nm red laser for mobile color projectors

Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Electric Corp, which manufactures high-power 660nm-wavelength laser diodes, has developed a 638nm-wavelength red laser diode which, due to its optimized materials and structure, offers what is claims to be record output power of 110mW in continuous-wave single lateral-mode operation (across its operating temperature range from -5ºC up to +50ºC). It also claims record wall-plug efficiency of 28% at 25ºC.

The compact 5.6mm diameter of the ML520G54’s standard TO CAN package makes it suitable for high-level integration in brighter, lower-power-consumption palm-size mobile red/green/blue color projectors as well as in laser display equipment, industrial instrumentation, and biomedical fields.

While laser diodes are widely used in optical disc systems such as recordable DVD players and optical communication equipment, the market has recently sought to extend their application to display equipment.

In particular, palm-size mobile color projectors (which are used to project applications in personal entertainment players, mobile phones and other mobile equipment) are gaining attention. Among several methods for projecting these applications, the greatest expectation is being placed on the use of small, high-output and highly efficient laser diodes as a light source, while employing micro mirror devices to scan the laser beams.

Such projection technology requires high beam quality and wave-front uniformity. It is also essential for the laser diode to have single lateral-mode lasing characteristics. However, to date, there had been no laser diodes with sufficient output power and brightness to satisfy mobile color projector manufacturers, Mitsubishi Electric says.

Previous red laser diodes with a wavelength of 640nm or lower (the wavelength most suitable to reproduce optical red color clearly and brightly) had difficulty maintaining single lateral-mode lasing characteristics at high output power. The ML520G54 uses Mitsubishi Electric’s expertise in applying window mirror structures and ridge waveguide structures. The firm reckons that its new product should therefore contribute to the production of brighter mobile color projectors with lower power consumption. Sample shipments are due to begin on 1 February at a price of $120 each.

Mitsubishi Electric says that, in future, it aims to continue development of higher-power laser diodes for display applications.

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