Sony Develops Powerful Laser for 1TB Optical Disc

The Blu-ray Disc Association may have just passed the BDXL specification that expands that capacity of Blu-ray media to 100GB, but the real roomy optical format of the future is being developed in a lab in Japan right now.

Sony and Tohoku University have created a laser that has a beam output that's in excess of 100 watts, which is more than a hundred times the world’s highest output value for conventional blue-violet pulse semiconductor lasers.

This latest successful development is an all-semiconductor laser picosecond pulse source with a laser wavelength of 405 nanometers (1 nm = one-billionth of a meter) in the blue-violet region. It is capable of generating optical pulses in the ultrafast duration of 3 picoseconds (1 picosecond = one-trillionth of a second), with ultrahigh output peak power of 100 watts and repetition frequency of 1 gigahertz.

What's even more remarkable, boasts Sony, is that that other ultra high-output laser devices require a bulky light source box and a specialist technician to ensure the stable operation of the laser. This technology, however allows for a much smaller lightbox and perhaps for a more automated process. 

Sony said that it has already tested applying this technology in next-generation large-capacity optical disc-storage, which could mean capacities 20 times greater than what we have now.

This laser technology could also be applied to a wide range of fields such as three-dimensional (3D) nano-fabrication of inorganic/organic materials. 

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • wolfram23
    Cool, I guess. I just hope they're not planning to use it on PS4... they need to go all digital.
  • dark_lord69
    Cool, but I'd be surprised if this comes out anytime soon... but for it to compete with large hard drives it needs to come out soon enough. I wouldn't be surprised if it was going to be used in the PS4.
  • sirmorluk
    Looks like my sharks will finally get that upgrade they have been asking for. :)
    Seriously though. 100w@1Ghz is friggin impressive.
  • back_by_demand
    I can imagine putting a disc in the machine, pressing burn and it fires straight though the bottom of the PC, through the floorboards and blasts a hole 60 feet into the ground.
  • chickenhoagie
    i'll just go ahead and put my PC on cruise control while i burn 1TB of my music onto a disc..I'll see you all in a couple of weeks! :)
  • insider3
    I want sharks with Sony "lasers" attached to their freakin heads.
  • bildo123
    Wolfram23Cool, I guess. I just hope they're not planning to use it on PS4... they need to go all digital.
    Pretty sure Blu-Ray isn't analog...neither is this...
  • mavroxur
    Wolfram23they need to go all digital.

    Apparently you're new to the world of optical discs....
  • sot010174
    I think he meant go digital DISTRIBUTION.
  • hoofhearted
    i suspect 90% of the people buying this will use it for their pron collection