9 February 2021
II-VI launches double-junction 940nm VCSEL arrays for 3D sensing
Engineered materials and optoelectronic component maker II-VI Inc of Saxonburg, PA, USA has announced its double-junction vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) arrays, the first of its multi-junction VCSEL array platforms for next-generation world-facing 3D sensing applications.
The growing adoption of 3D sensing in several markets (including in consumer electronics, automotive and industrial) is driving demand for depth sensors with longer and wider range, lower power consumption, smaller size and lower cost. II-VI’s new VCSEL arrays are based on a double-junction technology that doubles the power output per VCSEL emitter and improves the power conversion efficiency to 56%, compared with 46% in existing single-junction technology. This can be leveraged for a number of benefits, including higher output power to sense further and wider, reduced battery power consumption, and smaller size to achieve lower cost and to enable more inconspicuous designs, says the firm.
“We have developed over the years strong partnerships with our customers, closely collaborating on the development of long-term technology and product roadmaps aimed at providing breakthrough solutions and continuously elevating user experience in 3D sensing,” says Dr Julie Eng, senior VP, Optoelectronic & RF Devices business unit. “A few years ago, we successfully scaled our vertically integrated GaAs optoelectronics technology platform from 3-inch to 6-inch, which enabled us to shorten our development cycles and introduce new products to meet aggressive market windows,” he adds. “We are now once again evolving the platform, this time with a leap to double-junction technology that we believe will unlock exciting new use cases, such as farther depth of sensing in world-facing applications and seamless integration into consumer products for AR [augmented reality] and VR [virtual reality] applications.”
II-VI’s double-junction VCSEL arrays emit at 940nm, and their steep slope efficiencies enable very short pulses of very high peak powers. The VCSEL arrays are designed for low-cost non-hermetic packaging and, like the single-junction arrays, can be reliably and cost-effectively scaled in total power by increasing the number of emitters per chip, says the firm. They can also be produced in high volume on II-VI’s vertically integrated 6-inch platform.
II-VI’s portfolio of products for 3D sensing includes diffractive optical elements (DOEs) and thin-film filters that are produced at wafer-scale for high-volume applications. DOE flat lenses and lenslet arrays collimate, focus or transform beams from VCSEL arrays. DOE diffusers homogenize the output of VCSEL arrays and produce a uniform field of illumination. DOE splitters separate an input beam into multiple output beams. Filters are used to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the image sensor array. II-VI VCSEL arrays are available as chips or integrated with DOEs in surface-mount technology packages.
II-VI is showcasing its broad product line of lasers and optics for 3D sensing at the 2021 SPIE Photonics West Digital Forum (6-11 March).