Japan Semiconductor Innovation 50     (D-12 1980s)

VSIS Laser for CD Players (Sharp)

The GaAs/AlGaAs double-hetero-structured lasers, invented in 1979 by Bell laboratories, initially had the disadvantage of short life time and high cost, caused by their complicated structure and fabrication process. They were used in measurement equipment and telecommunication systems. However, it was very difficult to use them in consumer appliance.
In 1982, Sharp developed the V-channel Substrate Inner Stripe (VSIS) laser using proprietary p-GaAs substrate, which was suitable for volume production with low cost. This laser achieved operating lifetime of 40,000 hours, remarkably long in those days. Using the laser, the worldfs first commercial CD player for home-use was realized by Sony and Royal Philips Electronics in 1982.
The VSIS laser opened the door for consumer electronics application of semiconductor lasers.

Cross Section of VSIS Laser

Quote from Sharp Technical Journal


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