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Mitsubishi Electric is targeting pico projectors with a red laser diode which it claims has the highest output power in the 638nm wavelength band.

Pico projectors are being used by mobile phone and laptop designers to create a large area display capability in a small battery-powered terminal.

See: Pico projectors set for sixtyfold mobile growth 

Laser diodes are used as well as LEDs as the light source in these projectors because they can project a wider range of colours compared to lamp-based projectors.

Lasers deliver higher output power than LEDs with less power consumption. They also enable focus-free operation because optical systems with great depth of field can be used with laser beams.

Last year, Mitsubishi Electric launched a 638nm laser diode with 300mW output power.

This latest laser diode offers an even higher output power of 500mW, which could be used in high-luminous projectors of up to 60 lumens (lm).

By comparison, LED-based projectors typically offer only about 10 lm.

Power efficiency is 32% at 500mW.

The ML520G72 laser diode can also be operated at a temperature range of -5 to 40 degrees C when emitting 500mW continuous waves, and up to 50 degrees C under pulse operation at a duty ratio of 25% or less and frequency of 50Hz or higher.

Sample shipments will begin on February 1.

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