In the latest entry in the race to develop a high-power blue laser, SDL Inc. has introduced a semiconductor laser based on gallium nitride. The San Jose, Calif.-based company's entry emits at multiple wavelengths between 400 and 410 nm and features a pulsed power of more than 150 mW per facet. Donald Scifres, president and chief executive officer of SDL, said the material system has the potential to produce high-power lasers with high reliability in the violet-to-green wavelength range. SDL is pursuing the technology with matching funds from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency through the Blue Band II consortium, which aims to commercialize single spatial mode blue laser diodes by 1999. In related news, scientists led by E. Fred Schubert at the Photonics Center at Boston University have announced the development of a gallium nitride blue laser that could lead to more vivid color on video screens and higher-capacity optical storage disks.