26 January 2010


Opnext launches shorter-wavelength, higher-power red lasers for miniature projector and show laser markets

At this week’s Photonics West 2010 exhibition in San Francisco, optical component, module and subsystem maker Opnext Inc of Fremont, CA, USA is introducing an upgrade to its red laser diode product portfolio with higher-temperature operation red laser diodes developed for the rapidly growing miniature projector and show laser markets.

Opnext says that, due to its optimized manufacturing processes, the HL63603TG and HL63133DG achieve shorter wavelength and higher power. The human-eye sensitivity in both diodes has been improved by 25% from previous diodes, and the wall-plug efficiency of the HL63603TG has been increased by 18–28%.

Opnext claims that its HL63603TG offers the world’s highest-temperature operation of 60°C and 120mW in the 637nm wavelength band in a 3.8mm diameter package. The HL63133DG offers high-temperature operation of 40°C and 170mW in the 637nm band with a 5.6mm diameter package. Both operate in a single transverse mode. The firm says that the performance was accomplished through a new development process including an innovative waveguide structure and optimized structure parameters. The active layer thickness and facet reflectivity results in lower power consumption, providing extended battery operating time.

Production of the HL63133DG series is beginning in January. Sample shipment of the HL63603TG is scheduled to begin in February.

“Opnext is one of the key red laser diode suppliers for our Light Touch reference product, an interactive projector that instantly transforms any flat surface into a touch screen,” says Chris Harris, CEO of Light Blue Optics of Cambridge, UK, which develops and supplies miniature holographic laser projection systems for applications including automotive, digital signage and consumer electronics markets. Founded in 2004, LBO’s projection technology uses laser light sources and patented holographic techniques to deliver large, full-colour, high-quality video images that remain in focus at all distances (without needing a projection lens), whilst maintaining the Class 1 laser safety classification essential to consumer electronics applications. Uniquely, the projection system can be touch-enabled, meaning any flat surface such as a table can instantly be transformed into a touch-sensitive display, eliminating the need for a screen and allowing users to interact with multi-media content. “Light Touch has multiple opportunities in high-volume markets, and our relationship with Opnext is helping enable our company to realize these opportunities in full,” he adds.

“The miniature projector and show laser markets are expecting rapid growth due to mobile applications," says Tadayuki Kanno, Opnext's senior VP Device Business unit. “Customers require a red laser diode with high brightness and a thin package for their smaller RGB-laser-based consumer projection products. Our new devices meet and exceed this demand of laser diodes with shorter red wavelengths, higher power, all while being housed in a thin package,” he claims.

*Earlier this month, Light Blue Optics announced a list of firms working with it to bring its projection technology to market, including not only Opnext but also Adobe, CSR, Foxconn, Interbrand, Microsoft, Micron, Nichia, Photop and Toshiba. The firm’s first product – Light Touch, an interactive projector that transforms any flat surface into a 10-inch touch screen – was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2010) in Las Vegas.

See related item:

Opnext to supply Microvision with red lasers for mobile pico-projectors

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