Atmel, the same firm known for cranking out uber-small GPS chips, has now created the "industry's smallest laser diode driver solution" for HD DVD, Blu-ray, DVD, and CD formats. The ATR0881 laser diode driver IC is available now and is designed for use in combination drives that play nice with all of the aforementioned discs. Notably, the ATR0881 itself is housed in a minuscule four- x four-millimeter QFN24 package, and should prove extremely useful in half-height combo drives as well as slim drives found in laptops. Smaller optical drives that handle every format harmoniously? Count us in.

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Atmel intros 'industry's smallest' laser diode driver for HD DVD / Blu-ray