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23 January 2008


Bookham expands manufacturing in Zurich after shipping 4m polarization-stabilized VCSELs

Bookham Inc of San Jose, CA, USA has transitioned manufacturing of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) to its High Power Laser facility in Zurich, Switzerland to meet increasing volume demand from consumer applications. VCSEL manufacturing was previously carried out at the Zurich-based facilities of Avalon (acquired by Bookham in 2006).

The firm says that it has made massive investment in the High Power Laser facility’s wafer fabrication equipment to provide a high-capacity and well-controlled high-precision manufacturing environment. The move should allow Bookham to increase VCSEL production capacity and offer scalable manufacturing to meet growing demand.

As well as established business in the datacoms sector, VCSELs have seen significant take up as an alternative to LEDs in optical computer mice.

“Low cost and high reliability, combined with stable single-mode emission and, crucially, low power consumption, have made VCSELs an attractive option for optical computer mice manufacturers,” says Karlheinz Gulden, director VCSEL products. In 2007, Bookham shipped more than 4 million 850nm single-mode VCSELs with active polarization stabilization. The optical navigation market will ultimately demand high-volume production capability approaching 100 million chips annually,” reckons Gulden. “With the completed transition to the new facility, we now have the infrastructure in place for further scaling of our manufacturing capacity to meet the explosive demand of VCSEL for low-power optical engines.”

Executive VP Steve Turley adds, “The transition into our main Zurich wafer fabrication facility not only allows us to capitalize on the ever-increasing demand for VCSELs, it also enables us to maximize use of the facility and increase our day-to-day efficiency.”

See related item:

Bookham shows expanded VCSEL and high-power laser diode ranges at Photonics West

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