Name that Ware, January 2011

The Ware for January 2011 is shown below. Click on the image for a slightly larger version.

The ware this month is not nearly as hard as last month’s stumper. However, I was surprised by many of the clever features of this ware when I started investigating it in more detail, and thought it was worth sharing a high-res pic of the ware.

26 Responses to “Name that Ware, January 2011”

  1. Martin Ling says:

    Looks like the head assembly of an optical disc drive, but with two lasers rather than the usual one. I’m guessing a multi-function drive for different media types, probably 450nm and 650nm for Blu-Ray and DVD. No further clue as to the particular device, though.

    • Martin Ling says:

      My first guess as to the specific device would have been a PS3, and it does look like a similar assembly to the KES-410A optical head from some versions of that, but that’s not it.

  2. hairmare says:

    My quess would be CD/DVD writer with a second laser for Lightscribe.

  3. Ben says:

    The two lenses are different sizes, supporting multi-function drive.

  4. Charlie says:

    Charlie says “Albert” ;)

  5. That’s quite an optical assembly. Looks like the head floats in a magnetic gap with voice coils for fast fine positioning. Using the optics leads as springs is clever. Given the large number of connections and high-precision positioning, I’m thinking a 2-layer Blu-Ray burner.

  6. Felix says:

    This is an optical pickup unit of an optical disc drive.

    There are 2 lenses, and 3 lasers. The “circle segments” on the PCB are against ESD damage, since lasers are very susceptible for that. When the drive manufacturer purchases the OPUs, these segments are soldered together (with a solder blob), essentially shorting the supply lines with ground. Only after the OPU has been mounted in the drive, the shortcut is removed. You can see that the left side of each of the two segmented areas is connected, probably grounded.

    You need 1 laser for DVD (605nm), and 1 for CD (780 nm), but they can share a single lens. Bluray needs a third laser (405nm).

    I do not believe this is actually a writer. A writer usually drives an on-OPU laser driver IC with LVDS signals (bitrate is around 8-16x the channel bitrate (26MBit/s for DVD at 1X) on up to ~4 channels, so it’s easily in the range of a few GBit/s at higher speeds), and I can’t see any signal pairs at the flexcable connector. I believe this is a reader.

    On the left, the wires to the focus/tracking coils are visible. They allow the head to follow the focus (up/down) and tracking (radial) in real-time to make sure that the track stays centered and focused. Because of the high speed, there is some decent current (remember the fried PS2 OPU coils?), so these wires are pretty thick. Focus and tracking build a closed-loop system with the error term derived from the four quadrants (there are different systems, but these days that’s the usual way) of the photodetector. Roughly speaking (for tracking), if the left two quadrants are receiving more light than the right side, we need to move the laser “a little to the right”.

    The sum of all quadrants then is used to derive the data signal. It’s also called “RF”, since it’s a “high frequency” signal. After some analog data processing (amplification and equalizing), the signal is fed into the channel decoder, which first does a clock recovery, and then demodulates the EFM, EFM+ or the bluray equivalent (i forgot the name right now) encoding, which basically makes sure to have a minimum and a maximum bit length.

    The form factor makes me believe that this is from a laptop drive.

  7. CoutAzer says:

    It’s the optical pickup for a blu-ray reader, same as shown in this stock photo
    I just can’t seem to locate a model. It’s none of the ones for the psp. Might be for a workstation based bluray reader, probably a Sony as the design is similar. From the stock photo one can see that this is for a tray based drive, where the pickup is stationary, so not a laptop drive.

  8. KeyJ says:

    My first guess would also be a Blu-ray OPU, like that from the PS3. I’d even say it’s exactly the same as in the stock photo CoutAzer found. It looks damaged though, I can see some burnt spots on the PCB.

  9. dan says:

    ok, everyone is saying blue ray player… I’ll say HD DVD recorder, just to be different… ;>)

  10. SockThief says:

    It’s Wall-E’s new born son!

  11. szenyo says:

    It is Lightscribe writer. It uses two lasers. One is for burning the disk label to the surface. It uses 780 nm infrared laser light to make the disk label.

  12. WestfW says:

    The magnetic fine positioning, including the lead-wires as springs hack, is common even in low-end CD drives. I could probably come up with a half-dozen different example from my junk pile (optical drives being one of my favorite pieces of junk.) I haven’t seen two lenses before, though. Blueray and lightscribe both sound like good guesses…

  13. zurk says:

    optical drive. probably a hddvd drive. HD-DVD pickups used to have two objectives, and separate paths for the 405 nm and 660/780 nm wavelengths. looks like an LG but cant be sure.

  14. zurk says:

    on further reflection it looks like a bluray and hddvd combo drive from a dual bd/hddvd player or designed to be a combo pc drive from the 405 nm and 660/780 nm paths.

  15. david lee says:

    looking at the size of this thing, my guess would be LD (laser disc) player that can read redbook VCD and regular CD as well. I got couple of these in my junkyard.

    The big laser is for LD, and the smaller one is for CD.

    for those who don’t know what an LD is, do look in the history books.

  16. investigador says:

    Is an optical pickup of the first PS3, or maybe the first video dvd players, You can see by static contacts.

  17. Tux says:

    I’m gonna go even further afield and say that it’s a contact-less Vinyl record reader! ;) Actually I think a Blu-Ray is more likely but I figured I’d make a guess that no one else did.

  18. shinjikun34 says:

    bottom right of the image you see a ribbon cable. I have only ever seen a ribbon cable install like that (contacts exposed on the cable and the plug and it is just held in place by pressure/friction) on laptop hardware – maybe I am outdated but that is my two cents

  19. Neil says:

    I think it is a PS3 Slim KES-450A laser.

  20. mobile store says:

    Seems like a picture of optical drive of mobile phones India. I am going to check it with a friend who runs a mobile store to tell me about this ware.

  21. g says:

    Wow, comment spam is getting more and more sophisticated…

  22. Exlud says:

    I’m thinking optical mouse.

  23. artfx! says:

    This looks to me like the optical pickup of a Toshiba HD-A3 HD-DVD Player!

  24. Jamie Craig says:

    To me, this seems to match the general design of a SF-BW512L/SF-BW512P pick-up, which seem to be generic laser sleds used by a few manufacturers blu-ray drives; it’s a 10x rated module.

    Unfortunately, although the mechanics match quite well, the PCB layout seems to be not quite identical. This leads me to suspect it’s part of the same range but not the same model; however, it looks like a newer design than the (related) 6x SF-AW210. This makes me suspect that it’s somewhere in between, so, I’m going to go with:-

    It’s an 8x blu-ray pickup, part of the SF-xW range, apparently made by Sanyo.

    These boards are frequently sold to be stripped for their blue lasers, and as refurbished modules; someone clearly spends a lot of time reworking these. I wonder if the PCB pads shown in the photograph are related – perhaps a tweak to make it easier to test during rework – as hand-soldered jumpers like that wouldn’t be expected in normal production.