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Blue Lasers - Not Just for Sci Fi

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Blue lasers and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are expected to be among the most important new components in advanced technologies such as optical data storage, telecommunications and projection displays, according to new analysis from by Technical Insights, a business unit of Frost & Sullivan. This overall market is poised for significant growth, the researcher also said.

The latest advancements will result in a multitude of blue laser devices that will span applications as diverse as indoor lighting and next-generation 15 GB DVDs (digital versatile disks).

Fast-growing electronic applications ranging from movies on the Internet to online libraries ensure that there will never be too much storage density. Currently, information is electronically generated and produced faster than we can find places to put it. With as much as 40 percent stored digitally, the need for storage technology is rapidly growing day by day, Technical Insights said.

Companies and labs foresee that improved optical storage provided by blue lasers will solve a host of problems in terms of capacity and portability, keeping the memory race moving when magnetic storage is maxed out.

The key to this technology has been the ability to grow crystals of semiconductor materials, such as gallium nitride that emits cohesive light with a very short (less than 450 nm) wavelength. A shorter wavelength offers a narrower beam width, providing greater memory, music or video on CDs and DVDs, the firm said.

The ongoing research on Blue Lasers is covered in "Inside R&D," a Technical Insights Subscription Service and in World Laser System Markets, a Frost & Sullivan market analysis report.

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