Philips Photonics ships its one billionth VCSEL

Philips' role as lead partner of the European VIDaP project has helped standardize VCSEL manufacturing.

Philips Photonics (Ulm, Germany), producer of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) for data communications and consumer and industrial applications, announced that it has shipped one billion VCSELs. This cumulative milestone comes after two years of significant growth in demand for VCSEL technology, driven by trends such as the introduction of proximity sensing and 3D facial-recognition technology in consumer smartphones.

Last year, Philips Photonics announced plans to double production capacity by early 2018. Having completed this expansion, the company now plans to double production capacity at its Ulm, Germany facility within the next 18 months.

Philips Photonics has been the lead partner of the European "VIDaP" project (VCSEL Pilot Line for Illumination, Datacom and Power Applications), which has enabled the VCSEL industry to standardize the design, manufacture, and testing of VCSEL technology, matching the same high standards as other high-volume semiconductor components.

VIDaP has enabled the business to grow beyond traditional VCSEL use cases such as optical data transmission and thermal industrial processes, while also supporting innovative new technology applications such as consumer facial recognition and lidar for autonomous vehicles.

Global revenues for the VCSEL market currently stand at several hundred million USD, and are predicted to increase to USD 3.5 billion by 2023, largely driven by sharp growth in consumer technology applications.

"We are seeing very strong levels of interest from the consumer electronics sector, and we expect this to continue in the coming years as more manufacturers adopt facial recognition technology in their new smartphone models," says Joseph Pankert, General Manager, Philips Photonics.

Source: Philips Photonics

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