Press Release


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December 18, 2002



Nichia and Sony Announce Joint Development & Technology Alliance for Production of Blue-Violet Laser Diodes
Pursuing the creation of the Blue-Violet Laser Diode Market
Nichia Corporation
Sony Corporation

Nichia Corporation (hereafter "Nichia") and Sony Corporation (hereafter "Sony") have reached a basic agreement whereby they will jointly develop blue-violet laser diodes, in mass-production level, for use in optical disc recording and playback by spring 2003 following the joint development started in June 2002. In order to accelerate the joint development to meet market demands, the two companies also have reached a basic agreement to create an environment where they can share their respective technologies, patents and know-how.

Great demand is expected for blue-violet laser diodes as a key device in large-capacity optical disc recording and playback, to meet the needs of the broadband era. Sony and Nichia have independently pursued research and development in the area of blue-violet laser diodes, and each company now has a considerable number of intellectual properties, such as process patents and technological know-how. With this agreement, the two companies are enabled to produce excellent blue-violet laser diodes in a short period by integrating and utilizing their respective technologies.

Sony and Nichia have reached the agreement through recognition of the significance of meeting market demands by expediting the joint development of blue-violet laser diodes actively in the field of optical disc recording and playback. Specifically, the two companies will jointly develop 405 nm high output blue-violet laser diodes for "Blu-ray Disc", a next generation large-capacity optical disc video recording format, and they will enhance their technological level for mass production planned for spring 2003. Once mass production has begun, the two companies will respectively manufacture and sell the products resulting from joint development.

Sony and Nichia will now pursue the timely creation and expansion of the market for blue-violet laser diodes through active future cooperation.