In recent years, the use of information technology has increased both for commercial and business purposes. This has resulted in increasing use of large amount of data, thus, forcing consumers to explore more effective data storage solutions. The data stored in a computer can be transferred to other computer through Wi-Fi based local area network (LAN) or portable data storage solution. Adoption of data transfer technique through Wi-Fi based LAN medium has not been adapted widely in commercial purpose. Moreover, the transfer of data through Wi-Fi based LAN medium is less secured compared to portable data storage solution. Transferring data through portable storage device can be done through optical storage or solid state drive. Consumers look for cost-effective data transfer solution where the data can be transferred and stored for a long period of time. Using optical data storage solution helps consumer to transfer and store data for a long time. The loss of data due to aging of drive is less in optical data storage solution. Optical data storage solution uses solid-state laser technology to write data on the disc. Solid-state laser contains a solid gain medium such as glass crystal doped with rare earth metal that helps to emit laser at low intensity. Hence, solid-state lasers consume less power and are more cost-effective. Optical data storage drive such as compact disc (CD) and digital versatile disc (DVD) uses solid-state laser technology to write data. CD and DVD’s have found wide adaptation in residential and commercial market. This adaptation is due to embedding of CD/DVD writer in computers by computer and laptop manufacturers.
However, with the introduction of Blue-ray disc in data storage solution, the market for CD and DVD’s is facing a big challenge. The amount of data which can be stored in Blue-ray disc is more compared to solid-state laser based CD and DVD storage solution. However, the low cost and easy availability of CD and DVD’s in market is proving a competitive edge over Blue-ray disc’s. Blue-ray disc uses blue ray technology which is based on diode-pumped solid-state lasers. Hence, the adoption of blue ray disc in coming years will help solid-state laser manufacturers to adopt blue ray diode-pumped solid-state laser technology. Innovation in multilayer recording in disc will also help solid-state laser manufacturers to sustain in portable data storage market for long time. However, the introduction of new technologies such as holographic data storage, three-dimensional (3D) optical storage, and heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) can change market outlook significantly. The use of these new technologies in data storage is at initial stage and the cost of implementation is quiet high compared to solid-state laser technology. The demand for Blue ray disc is increasing in North America, Japan and Germany which are considered as early adopters of new technologies. The demand for CD and DVD will decrease in coming years due to adoption of blue ray technology by computer and laptop manufacturing companies across the globe.
Some of the key solid-state laser manufacturers for data storage are Coherent Inc, Rofin-Sinar Technologies Inc, Trumpf Inc, Newport Corporation, EKSPLA, IPG Photonics Corporation, JDS Uniphase Corporation, Jenoptik AG, Photonics Industries International Inc, Laserglow Technologies, Quanta System and Photonic Solutions.