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High-brightness blue LEDs and laser diodes for use in full color displays etc. have recently become available. Recent developments such as blue/green single-quantum-well (SQW) LEDs and a violet InGaN multiquantum-well (MQW) laser diode—shown working on the inside front cover of the issue—are reviewed, including the electroluminescent and optical spectra of the devices. The results indicate the possibility that short wavelength laser diodes, from green to UV, will be realized in the near future using III–V nitride materials.