Philips succeeds in mass producing advanced VCSEL lasers

VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) is an innovative laser technology that drives high speed data transmissions, 3D recognition, optical sensors and digital industrial thermal processes, while significantly reducing the size of sensors and energy consumption in data centers and thermal industrial processes. Philips Photonics has succeeded in mass producing VCSELs, making the technology widely available for the first time.

The mission of the Philips project was to bring VCSEL production to the same level of maturity as the LED industry. Global revenues for the VCSEL market currently stand at several hundred million, and are expected to swell to above $1 billion in 2022.

Prior to the project, VCSELs were only manufactured in small quantities, with largely unautomated processes. Now, Philips and its consortium partners have successfully demonstrated the capability to manufacture VCSELs to the same standards as other high volume semiconductor components.

Following the announcement last year that Philips was expanding and doubling the capacity of its laser-diode facility in Ulm, Philips has produced a cumulative 700 Million VCSELs. This fast growth in demand has triggered follow-up investments that will lead to another doubling of capacity by early 2018.

“With the digital revolution firmly underway, the market need for VCSELs is rapidly accelerating,” said Joseph Pankert, General Manager, Philips Photonics. “Today, our products are widely used in data centers, smartphones and a number of industrial applications, with the advancements brought about by the project helping to secure Philips a leading European position in this growing segment of optoelectronics.”

For more information about photonics applications in the field of Manufacturing, please see the program of the Photonics Applications Week.

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