Menu
Blue LED inventor sees laser lights shining imagery, data

Blue LED inventor sees laser lights shining imagery, data

Ubiquitous laser diodes could provide light, displays and communications, Nobel laureate Shuji Nakamura said

Shuji Nakamura, who shared the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for the development of the blue light-emitting diode, addresses journalists at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan in Tokyo on Friday.

Shuji Nakamura, who shared the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for the development of the blue light-emitting diode, addresses journalists at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan in Tokyo on Friday.

If you love the lasers of science fiction, rejoice because the future will be full of them, according to Nobel laureate Shuji Nakamura, co-inventor of the blue light-emitting diode (LED).

The power and sparkle of laser diodes, already used in some car headlights, will eventually replace LEDs and become the dominant form of lighting, also increasing the availability and power of wireless communications networks based on light, he predicted.

"There is a limitation to LEDs," Nakamura, a materials science professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told a press conference Friday at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo. "By increasing the input power, LEDs become very bright. But the problem is that with the increase of power, the efficiency gradually decreases."

In contrast, the input power for laser diodes can be increased endlessly with very high efficiency, he said, adding that "In the near future, all lighting will be from laser-based lighting."

Laser diodes could also be used as smartphone-controlled projectors, displaying imagery or data on walls or floors nearby, Nakamura said, calling such a system "intelligent lighting."

Beyond providing light and projected displays, laser diodes could lend a boost to wireless communications. He referred to Li-Fi, the optical communications technology that makes use of light instead of radio waves to send data at speeds of 3.5Gbps or more, saying a laser diode-based version would be even speedier.

"The modulation speed of laser lighting is much faster than LED lighting, almost 1,000 times faster, so the Internet speed would become much, much faster," Nakamura predicted.

Nakamura and fellow Japanese researchers Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano received the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources." The blue-light LED developed in the early 1990s was a feat that had eluded scientists for 30 years.

In 2004, the Tokyo District Court ordered Nakamura's former employer, LED maker Nichia, to pay him compensation of ¥20 billion (US$180 million) for the invention. He had previously received a much smaller bonus. In 2005, Nakamura settled with Nichia, which had appealed, for ¥840 million.

The lawsuit changed industry practices in Japan and companies have increased their compensation to employee inventors, Nakamura said Friday. But he added that the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe now wants to revise the law in favor of corporations.

"This means employees cannot [launch] lawsuits anymore against companies," he said. "It's very bad."


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags popular scienceconsumer electronicsNichia

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honoured its top performing partners across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, recognising innovation and excellence on both sides of the Tasman. Revealed under the Vivid lights in Sydney, Intalock claimed the coveted Partner of the Year 2017 (Pacific) award, with Data#3 acknowledged for 12 months of strong growth across the market. Meanwhile, Datacom took home the New Zealand honours, with Global Storage and Insentra winning service provider and consulting awards respectively. Dicker Data was recognised as the standout distributor of the year, while Hitachi Data Systems claimed the alliance partner award. Photos by Bob Seary.

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners
Show Comments