6 October 2021
TRUMPF Photonic Components ships two billionth VCSEL/photodiode product
TRUMPF Photonic Components GmbH of Ulm, Germany (part of the TRUMPF Group), which manufactures vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) and photodiodes for the consumer electronics, datacoms, industrial sensing, heating and automotive markets, has shipped its two billionth product. The firm says that the cumulative milestone has been enabled through significant growth in demand for VCSEL technology, driven by trends such as proximity sensing and 3D facial recognition technology in consumer smartphones, as well as rising demand in optical data communication in data centers.
In the last two years (since TRUMPF Group acquired the business from Philips), the company has invested more than €20m into the headquarters in Ulm. Production capacity has been expanded to support further business growth, both in existing markets as well as in new segments like quantum computing. TRUMPF says that it continues to drive the technology know-how that has been established for over 20 years to implement a Photonic Hub in Ulm.
“Reaching the milestone of two billion products confirms our strategy to build on strong partnerships with our customers. Next to standardized solutions, we are also developing customized solutions to address the application needs in its best way,” Berthold Schmidt, CEO at TRUMPF Photonic Components. “Therefore, we are continuously investing into high-tech equipment and human resources to meet the rapidly growing global demand and to guarantee best-in-class infrastructure, as German leader in supplying VCSELs and photodiodes,” he adds. Recently the company announced that, in future, quantum computer chips of TRUMPF Group subsidiary Q.ANT will also be fabricated in Ulm. To manufacture these quantum computer chips, further expansion of the existing cleanroom fabrication facilities in Ulm is planned.
Growing application areas
Consumer electronics comprise one of the main business fields for TRUMPF Photonic Components. The VCSEL products are a fundamental component of sensors that feature prominently in modern smartphones. They enable, for example, the functionality of face recognition, to switch off the display automatically, or to improve the camera autofocus.
On the other hand, optical data communication is becoming increasingly relevant as the amount of data to be handled is increasing. That’s why TRUMPF has recently been developing 100G solutions.
In addition, TRUMPF offers industrial heating systems, while VCSELs are used, for example, in e-mobility within the battery process chain (another growing business field).
The latest potential application field is quantum computing. With VCSELs becoming part of quantum technology there is huge potential for the laser diode technology, the firm reckons. These chips will be capable of creating, controlling and manipulating quanta.
“I am convinced that VCSEL technology drives the future not only of consumer electronics, industrial sensing or optical data communication, but also for autonomous driving and quantum technology,” says Berthold Schmidt. “So VCSEL laser diodes will be in every home, every mobile device, every car and within industrial production,” he reckons.