There are two things about Sony's latest Blu-ray development you need to know. First: the company has managed to shrink the diode used to produce the blue laser that reads the discs. Second: this sentence aside, I'm not going to mention the format war at all in telling you about it - a novel concept I'm sure you'll agree.
Anyhow, here's the deal: the diode is a mere 3mm thick and intended for drives of the 9.5mm thin form factor, such as Panasonic's recently announced thin Blu-ray drive. However, unlike that offering, which is of the pop-out variety, slot-loading drives based on Sony's laser are also expected to become available. Blu-ray in a Mac anyone?
In addition to its thinness, the new laser is also notable in being able to recognise discs printed in a new organic dye. I say noteworthy because these discs are cheaper to produce than their non-organic brethren and can apparently be produced on existing DVD production lines, which is a useful boon given the main complaints about Blu-ray discs relate to the difficulty and cost of production.
Also important about the new laser module is that it is cheaper than the current ones produced by Sony, which in turn should lead to cheaper drives and players. Considering current Blu-ray fitted notebooks are generally still ludicrously expensive, this can only be considered a Good Thing.