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21 November 2018

Philips Photonics ships billionth VCSEL

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

Philips Photonics of Ulm, Germany - a wholly owned business of Royal Philips of Eindhoven, The Netherlands that provides vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) technology for datacom, consumer and industrial applications – has shipped its billionth VCSEL. This follows two years of significant growth in demand for VCSEL technology, driven by trends such as the introduction of proximity sensing and 3D facial recognition technology in consumer smartphones.

Since its establishment in 2000 as ULM Photonics GmbH and its acquisition by Philips in 2006, the facility in Ulm has grown significantly. The last expansion (to double production capacity) was completed by early 2018. Now, the firm plans to double production capacity again at its Ulm facility within the next 18 months.

Philips Photonics was the leading partner of the €23m, three-year project VIDaP (VCSEL Pilot Line for Illumination, Datacom and Power Applications), which was jointly sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the European Union, and executed under the umbrella of the European program ECSEL (Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership). Completed in September 2017, VIDaP has enabled industry to standardize the design, manufacture and testing of VCSEL technology, matching the same standards as other high-volume semiconductor components. Philips’ role in the project has enabled the business to grow beyond traditional VCSEL applications such as optical data transmission and thermal industrial processes, while also supporting new technology applications such as consumer facial recognition and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) for autonomous vehicles. Philips Photonics reckons that it is uniquely positioned to serve the full spectrum of traditional and emerging VCSEL applications.

“Through continuous investment in our business, from research and development to quality manufacturing processes, we have been able to meet the rapidly growing global demand and cement our position as a European industry leader for VCSEL technology,” says Philips Photonics’ general manager Joseph Pankert. “We are seeing very strong levels of interest from the consumer electronics sector, and we expect this to continue in the coming years as more manufacturers adopt facial recognition technology in their new smartphone models.”

The VCSEL market is forecasted to rise from several hundred million dollars currently to $3.5bn in 2023, driven largely by sharp growth in consumer technology applications.

See related items:

Philips Photonics-led European consortium completes VIDaP VCSEL project

Philips Photonics to double VCSEL production capacity in Ulm

IQE joins €23m VIDaP program to establish Europe-based high-volume supply chain for VCSELs

Tags: VCSELs

Visit: www.photonics.philips.com

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