ULM Photonics Opens Facility To Serve VCSEL Market

Jan. 23, 2002
ULM Photonics, a supplier of flip-chip ready VCSEL arrays and 10 Gb/s VCSELs, has opened a new manufacturing facility in Ulm, Germany to meet and serve a growing VCSEL market. The company expects the market for 850nm VCSEL diodes to be $180M in 2005 and $560M in 2010

ULM Photonics, a supplier of flip-chip ready VCSEL arrays and 10 Gb/s VCSELs, has opened a new manufacturing facility in Ulm, Germany to meet and serve a growing VCSEL market. The company expects the market for 850nm VCSEL diodes to be $180M in 2005 and $560M in 2010.

The facility is equipped with additional quality assurance equipment and a new Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) system, a technique that grows VCSELs on gallium arsenide (GaAs) semiconductor wafers as single crystals and can also work on other materials like indium phosphide (InP). The new equipment will help ULM Photonics create more efficient VCSELs by even better controlling the growth of the crystal, thus meeting the demand of its growing customer base.

ULM is currently shipping flip-chip ready VCSEL arrays and high-speed devices at up to 10 Gb/s to more than a dozen European and North American customers.

Moving forward with the facility addition, ULM will also be increasing its distribution by working closely with its North American partner, Schott Optovance. Schott Optovance, an optical interconnect company, is based in Southbridge, MA and is the lead investor and exclusive North American distributor of ULM Photonics' products. Schott Optovance has installed product management, sales and customer service for the VCSELs to serve ULM Photonics' North American customers in their regions and time zones. In Europe, ULM Photonics will distribute its own products.

"Our move to the new MBE-equipped facility allows us to increase efficiency and controllability in the development and shipment of VCSEL products to our North American and European customers," said Dr. Burghard Schneider, Managing Director of ULM Photonics. "In addition, Schott Optovance's distribution capabilities in North America, coupled with our expanding European sales efforts, are key to our growth."

Backed by its lead investor, Schott Optovance, ULM Photonics was established by key researchers from Professor Karl Ebeling's VCSEL research group at ULM University in 2000. This group was the first in Europe to develop oxide-confined VCSELs. ULM Photonics is one of the first companies to ship high-density VCSEL arrays and 10 Gb/s VCSELs to a dozen customers.

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