Press Release


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April 22, 2004



Cross License Agreement of Blue-Violet Laser Diode
related Patents for Optical Disc

   Nichia Corporation (hereafter "Nichia") and Sony Corporation (hereafter "Sony") have come to an agreement on the cross license of Blue-Violet Laser Diode (hereafter Blue-Violet LD) related patents for optical disc use.

   In December 2002, Nichia and Sony have agreed to collaborate on the development of Blue-Violet LD as well as building-up an environment to share the usage of the related technologies which the 2 companies possess, to accelerate the growing demand of Blue-Violet LD. Nichia and Sony have also worked in collaboration on the Blue-Violet LD development for optical disc recording/play-back use.
   The cross license agreement will further strengthen the collaboration and will enable usage of all related patents on Blue-Violet LD, with no time limit, in the field of the optical disc recording/playback usage. Collectively, there are approximately 800 patent applications in total filed by both companies.

   Blue-Violet LD is a 405nm wavelength semiconductor laser which will be vital for Blu-ray disc system, enabling digital recording of high-definition (HD) contents (movies) in consumer use and professional disc system XDCAM. It is the key device in the HD era, in various occasions where high quality images/movies are the key in HD contents creation in Digital HD broadcasting and recording/play-back in consumer use.

   Through the cross-license, in addition to Nichia, which is most advanced on a world-wide basis as the Blue-Violet LD supplier, Sony will also mass-produce and be the supplier of Blue-Violet LD, leading to building-up a stable environment of the supply of Blue-Violet LD for optical disc use, required for Blu-ray disc system market which is expected increase significantly.
   The convergence of technologies of both companies lead to achieving cost-down by improving production efficiency and further enhancing the production design/manufacturing of higher-performance/high-level-output Blue-Violet LD.
   Results of the join developments so far have already been implemented in mass production by both companies, and mass production shipment by Nichia and partial shipment of evaluation samples to other companies by Sony are under process.

   Both companies have agreed to continue to collaborate in technology development, leading to enhanced performance of Blue-Violet LD and contribution in the development of Blu-ray disc and XDCAM market.