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Laser diode driver supports combo DVD formats

Posted: 19 Jul 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:laser diode driver IC? small slim drives? HD DVD? Blu-ray? DVD?

Atmel Corp. launches the ATR0881 laser diode driver IC for use in combined HD DVD/Blu-ray, DVD and CD drives. The chip is claimed to be the industry's smallest laser diode driver solution and is well suited for small slim drives used in notebook computers and for half-height drives in desktop PCs and consumer DVD recorders.

ATR0881's QFN housing is a Pb-free paddle-up package with the exposed paddle on top to improve heat dissipation.

A bottom-located exposed paddle, found in conventional QFN packages, causes difficulties due to its inaccessibility for circuit design, particularly in optical pick-up products. This design restriction is eliminated with ATR0881, said Atmel.

Although the ATR0881 has three outputs for connecting 3 laser diodesa blue (HD DVD/Blu-ray), a red (DVD) and an IR (CD)it still fits into the same small 24-pin package used by Atmel's laser diode drivers for two-output combined DVD and CD drives.

ATR0881 is the first of its kind with a serial interface. Unlike conventional laser diode drivers with a fixed gain between input and output, the gain of each of the ATR0881's five channels can be individually programmed using the serial interface. This makes ATR0881 extremely flexible and enables designers to avoid complete re-designs if the users' gain requirements change.

The serial interface can also be used to set all parameters of the integrated oscillator including frequency, amplitude and spread-spectrum settings. Current laser diode drivers need up to six external resistors and pins to set the oscillator parameters. With the ATR0881 device, these additional resistors are not required, lowering overall BOM costs.

The requirement for oscillator frequency accuracy is very high to ensure low EMI. Due to resistor tolerances, common laser diode drivers enable a maximum accuracy of 10 percent. In contrast, designs using the ATR0881 achieve a frequency deviation of less than 5 percent with the laser diode driver's integrated frequency counter.

Compared to competitor devices, ATR0881 can optionally be set to a special synchronization mode, which synchronizes all write channels to the second channel, enabling very sharp output pulses for increased data security.

Samples of the ATR0881 in 4mm x 4mm QFN24 paddle-up packages are now available. Pricing starts at $5 each in quantities of 10,000 units.

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