Researchers at Durham, N.C.-based Cree Inc. have demonstrated more than 100 hours of 1- to 3-mW continuous-wave (CW) output from its blue semiconductor laser based on silicon carbide. The devices have displayed CW operation at up to 100 mW with shorter lifetimes. Read/write applications for optical data storage require 30 to 40 mW of output. The company also announced that it has retained the services of Shuji Nakamura, the former head of research and development for its rival, Nichia Corp. of Anan, Japan, and a professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara. Nakamura, the inventor of the blue diode laser and blue, green and white LEDs, has accepted a part-time research position at Cree Lighting Co. of Goleta, Calif.