10 November 2021
Vector Photonics completes LOCAL project
Photonic-crystal surface-emitting laser (PCSEL) firm Vector Photonics Ltd of Glasgow, Scotland, UK has completed the project ‘Lasers for Communications Applications’ (LOCAL), which was supported by the Sustainable Innovation Fund of UK Government agency Innovate UK (which provides funding and support for business innovation as part of UK Research and Innovation) in collaboration with project partner University of Glasgow.
The 11-month project developed 1310nm all-semiconductor surface-emitting lasers for next-generation communications and data-center applications — a huge growth market, driven by the proliferation of mobile devices, the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G.
“The LOCAL project was a huge success, with the resulting 1310nm all-semiconductor surface-emitting lasers delivering to plan, despite the Covid pandemic,” says David Childs, director of product development. “Not only did the devices exhibit excellent optical performance, with a side-mode suppression ratio (SMSR) of 40dB, but they also supported four wavelengths between 1298nm and 1340nm, on the same wafer – a breakthrough in the industry. This led to Vector Photonics’ senior development engineer Dr Calum Hill delivering a post-deadline presentation at the International Semiconductor Laser Conference (ISLC 2021) in Potsdam, Germany (10-14 October).
“Innovate UK funding reduces early-stage development risk,” notes Childs. “The £175,000 we received for the LOCAL project funded the successful development of the 1310nm laser prototypes,” he adds. “This established a business case to proceed with commercialization of this revolutionary new semiconductor laser technology.”