AES Semigas


6 September 2022

TRUMPF and KDPOF partner on components and networks for automotive datacoms

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 – and fabless semiconductor supplier KDPOF of Tres Cantos, Madrid, Spain – a supplier for automotive gigabit connectivity over POF (plastic optical fiber) – have become strategic partners on automotive datacom solutions.

Both companies pursue the goal of implementing optical data communication standards and solutions for the automotive industry, so they are combining their knowledge in the field of components and networks for optical data communication.

“With our strategic partnership we are going one step further and aim to establish VCSELs [vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers] and optical networks as indispensable parts in future cars,” says KDPOF’s chief technology officer Rubén Pérez-Aranda. “Having a supplier like TRUMPF as a partner in working groups enriches the discussion with deep manufacturing and design knowledge of VCSEL and photodiodes components.”

Autonomous driving cars benefit from VCSEL technology

Due to the push in the automotive sector towards autonomous driving, a large amount of data must be processed in cars. Consequently, optical interconnects are required to manage the data flow, acting as a nervous system connecting sensors and electronic brains, while meeting tight electro-magnetic interference requirements. “After a long-term cooperation, it’s great to enter a strategic partnership with KDPOF now, combining our long-term expertise to shape the future of data communication within car networks,” says Joseph Pankert, VP product management at TRUMPF Photonic Components. “Our long-term studies have already proven that 980nm VCSELs can operate at much higher temperatures while maintaining excellent reliability. This is exactly what the automotive industry is demanding, and therefore we support the movement towards a new, long-wavelength standard.”

Demanding application in automotive sector

Compared with datacenters, automotive applications require not only a much wider range of operating temperatures (from -40°C up to 125°C) but also an interconnect length of even less than 40m. For superior robustness against wear-outs and random failures, the 980nm VCSEL is recognized as the preferred wavelength for the new standard. Next to performance characteristics, 980nm enters into existing OM3 fibers with only limited dispersion loss.

Official standard on its way

Both TRUMPF and KDPOF are participants in the IEEE P802.3cz taskforce. The current draft approved in IEEE 802.3 working group ballot for automotive optical multi-gigabit data transmission provides optical specifications that make use of reliable light sources based on proven longer-wavelength technology. Driver assistance and autonomous vehicle operation will benefit from equipment made of standardized components, it is reckoned. “The automotive industry is a very demanding,” notes Pérez-Aranda. “The IEEE 802.3 standard is therefore focusing on highly reliable conditions that delivers a service life of 15 years and more.”

TRUMPF Photonic Components is exhibiting booth 473 at the 48th European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC 2022) in Basel, Switzerland (19-21 September), and TRUMPF and KDPOF are giving a joint presentation on ‘980nm VCSELs: New standard in automotive’ on 21 September at 3.15pm on the market focus stage at ECOC.





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