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Sanyo says New Laser to Double Blu-ray Capacity

Sanyo said it has developed a blue-laser diode that will help lay the foundation for higher-capacity and faster Blu-ray Disc systems. The laser releases a beam of 450 mW—nearly double the power of Sanyo's current Blu-ray lasers.

More power typically translates into the ability to write (and read) disc data with as many as four data layers, at speeds approaching 12X, according to Sanyo. With current lasers, each layer can hold up to about 25 GB of data, and some of today's upper-end commercial discs have two recording layers. Thus, a four-layer disc would be able to hold 100 GB of data—or approximately 7.5 to 8 hours of typical HD video. At a speed of 12X, the 100 GB of data could be burned to a Blu-ray disc less than 15 minutes.

Higher capacity laser diodes are not expected to be included in any future Blu-ray products for at least two years, and maybe longer.