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4 February 2009


QD Laser raises ¥700m to ramp production

Tokyo-based QD Laser Inc has secured a new ¥700m ($7.8m) round of financing led by Mizuho Capital Co Ltd and joined by Tokyo Leasing Co Ltd, along with Mitsui Ventures and Fujitsu Ltd’s CVC Fund (the two founding investors in the joint venture in April 2006).

QD Laser develops quantum-dot-based optoelectronic devices, based on more than 10 years of research by Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd and the University of Tokyo. Development of the lasers was driven as a joint effort by the research teams of professor Yasuhiko Arakawa (QD Laser's technical advisor and head of the University of Tokyo’s Institute for Nano Quantum Information Electronics) and of Mitsuru Sugawara (QD Laser's president & CEO and vice-head of Fujitsu Laboratories' Nanotechnology Research Center).

In late February 2008, when the firm started shipping engineering samples transmitting at 1.25-10Gb/s data rates, QD Laser claimed at the Optical Fiber Communication (OFC 2008) conference in San Diego, CA that it was first to develop and commercialize temperature-insensitive quantum dot Fabry-Perot (QD-FP) lasers operating at a wavelength of 1310nm, available in both a TO-CAN package and bare chip form for applications such as fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), optical local-area networks (LAN) and Fiber Channel optical communications.

Picture: Structure of quantum dot FP laser.

The firm says results confirm that, compared to conventional lasers, the quantum dot technology can achieve the lower power consumption, smaller form factor and wider operational temperatures (up to 100°C) that are required for optical sub-assembly modules and telecom systems as transmission speed increases. Also, due to their temperature-insensitive characteristics, QD-FP lasers can enable simplification or removal of the automatic power control (APC) function, cutting material and assembly costs.

QD Laser says that it will use the new funding to enhance production capabilities and R&D activities to expand the possibilities of optical devices for telecom and other applications generated by its quantum dot technology.

In addition, quantum dot distributed feedback (QD-DFB) lasers, which enable longer-distance transmission, have also been under development, for availability in both TO-CAN packaged and bare chip form.

*The firm’s quantum dot lasers have been selected as a ‘Winner for Telecommunications’ in the special report ‘WINNERS & LOSERS 2009: The Year’s Best and Worst of Technology’ of IEEE SPECTRUM magazine’s January issue.

The high-speed, low-power, temperature-stable lasers were selected for being “equally applicable to optical networking and consumer electronics” under QD Laser’s goal to commercialize a reliable and inexpensive semiconductor laser that is also immune to temperature changes. “Our temperature-insensitive and energy-saving technologies based on quantum dots will contribute to the development of ubiquitous broadband networks, as well as a variety of new laser-based consumer electronics,” reckons Sugawara.

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