Green Laser Diodes Are On the Way, In the Meantime If Done Right Synthetic Green Lasers Have an Embedded Play

Tiffany Bradford

August 8th, 2010
by Tiffany Bradford


As a result of feedback we have received from our most recent conference call, we wanted to clarify Mr. Tokman’s remarks in response to the question of whether or not the current synthetic green lasers can be made cost effectively enough to enable embedded applications.

The fundamental message Mr. Tokman was communicating during the conference call and the one we want to stress is this: We firmly believe that the second generation synthetic green lasers, if done properly, could become a part of an embedded solution and effectively compete with direct green lasers (at their onset) for the first 4-5 years, but would likely not be competitive against direct green lasers 10 years from now.

Benefits of Direct Green Laser Diodes
There are at least 5 companies working on development of green laser diodes.  Commercial grade direct green lasers are expected to begin entering the market in the second half of next year.  Green laser diodes are expected to be smaller, lower power, and cheaper to manufacture than synthetic green lasers, and we expect a larger number of suppliers which will drive competive pricing and result in higher volume availability.

Why Synthetic Green Lasers Could Be Viable For Embedded Applications
We have already begun to see availability of the first generation synthetic lasers increase.  The next generation synthetic green lasers are expected to be more efficient and less expensive than their first generation cousins.  We also anticipate that the direct green lasers targeted for introduction in the second half of next year may not reach desired performance and cost targets immediately.  For these reasons, we believe that synthetic lasers could continue to remain a competitive alternative to direct green lasers for at least the first 4-5 years after diodes are introduced.


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4 Responses to “Green Laser Diodes Are On the Way, In the Meantime If Done Right Synthetic Green Lasers Have an Embedded Play”

  1. anon Says:

    The question asked during the CC was “when”, not “if”. Please clarify WHEN will synthetic green lasers will be available at a cost that allows for embedding.

  2. Michael Says:

    4~5 years, that part was clear. And if embedding at a loss, then 2nd half of 2011.

  3. WHEN will synthetic green lasers be available at a cost that allow profitable margins.

    Anant

  4. Thanks, I found the answer by reading your post again.

    Here’s what I figured…

    • Currently, the quantities of synthetic green lasers and the ASICs are too small─ like 5,000 to 10,000 units per month, and the cost is “relatively” too expensive… thus the negative margins. The key word is “relatively”… meaning product cost [in such small quantities] is more than the transfer price that can be charged to the OEMs at a suggested retail price of $549.
    • To put it another way; if the retail price was increased to $649 and the transfer price to OEMs also raised by $100… than the relative cost of product─ at such small quantities, may NOT be [relatively speaking] too expensive… thus the potential for positive margins.

    What I find very interesting is the comment about…

    “We have already begun to see availability of the first generation synthetic lasers increase. The next generation synthetic green lasers are expected to be more efficient and less expensive than their first generation cousins. We also anticipate that the direct green lasers targeted for introduction in the second half of next year may not reach desired performance and cost targets immediately. For these reasons, we believe that synthetic lasers could continue to remain a competitive alternative to direct green lasers for at least the first 4-5 years after diodes are introduced.”

    From your comments about synthetic lasers, it is now clear that they have 4-5 years as the economic life cycle… before the diode green laser mature and become cost competitive. Considering the potential volume sales of laser based pico projectors over the next 5 years, which could easily run into 200-300 million units, there’s enough incentive for the synthetic green laser manufactures to ramp-up production with corresponding drop in prices.

    I see two opportunities for cost reduction, and a very strong possibility of profitable margins, in the near future…

    • Next generation green lasers and ASICs should be coming out in the next three or four months and they are more efficient and less expensive… and that bodes well for positive margins.
    • A significantly large order from an OEM, in the 50,000 to 100,000 units per month range, will not only motivate the synthetic green laser suppliers, Corning and Osram, to crank-up the production lines… but it will also help reach the critical volume in terms of quantities that would result in some dramatic price drop. With next generation synthetic green laser supply continuing to improve over the rest of year 2010, it is just the matter of time that a visionary company like Apple will come waltzing down the aisle to embed Microvision’s PDEs in their smartphones, iPads or iPods etc. If it is not Apple initially, it will be someone else… you can bet on that.

    It may not be quite apparent to the naked eye; but with a little diligence the negative margins issue is just a short term anomaly that should correct itself in the next three to four months.

    Anant