CLICK HERE: free registration for Semiconductor Today and Semiconductor Today ASIACLICK HERE: free registration for Semiconductor Today and Semiconductor Today ASIA

Join our LinkedIn group!

Follow ST on Twitter


19 March 2014

IQE delivers first 150mm VCSEL epiwafers for high-volume, low-cost applications

Epiwafer foundry and substrate maker IQE plc of Cardiff, Wales, UK has delivered what it says is the world’s first 150mm (6”) vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) epiwafer process for high-volume, low-cost applications.

Markets for VCSELs are proliferating rapidly as this type of laser is becoming the device of choice for many high-volume applications, says IQE, including:

  • gesture recognition, for gaming and non-contact navigation (e.g. TV, smartphone, tablet);
  • depth imaging for 3D vision , driving the next wave of handset innovation for must-have new phones;
  • low-energy optical storage and fast switching in high-capacity data centers, servers and ultra-high-speed computing;
  • high-speed datacoms, including active optical cables (AOCs);
  • ultra-high-density magnetic storage using heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR);
  • illumination for infrared (IR) cameras for security, safety, night-vision;
  • industrial heating, including paint curing and commercial print shops; and
  • cosmetics and healthcare, including hair removal, antiwrinkle, blemish reduction.

A number of these applications require multi-element array configurations that use greater surface areas and therefore more epiwafer material. They also offer higher optical power output compared with discrete devices.

Many of these markets are price elastic, and by moving to 150mm wafer sizes - compatible with existing well established, state-of-the-art 150mm RF gallium arsenide (GaAs) wafer processing lines – high-performance VCSELs can be manufactured in large volume using fabrication and testing techniques similar to those of LEDs, says IQE.

This combination will provide a high-volume manufacturing technology and capability to help drive down the cost of VCSEL-based photonics products for deployment in mass market, consumer applications, adds the firm.

The significantly improved cost structure will allow designers to utilize the unique operational and performance advantages of laser devices to further develop advanced sensing applications which are expected to drive the next wave of innovation in consumer products such as cell phones, tablets and other handheld devices, reckons IQE.

Initial engineering evaluation and product qualification wafers have already been delivered and initial performances have replicated those of existing smaller wafer sizes. Production is expected to ramp over the coming year.

“VCSEL-enabled products such as gesture recognition and ‘time of flight’ sensing are expected to ramp significantly over the coming period as they become incorporated into next-generation handset and mobile communication devices, as well as a myriad of other high-volume applications,” notes CEO Dr Drew Nelson. “By introducing our new 150mm VCSEL epiwafer process, which is compatible with existing high-volume RF GaAs chip processing lines, we are enabling a new low-cost manufacturing route for high-performance laser devices,” he adds.

“IQE has built a powerful technology platform for VCSELs, and recent announcements on record low-power-consumption VCSELs for datacenters and record high-speed data transmission with IBM for datacentrer, servers and supercomputers are testament to the strength and depth of this platform,” Nelson concludes.

See related items:

IQE’s VCSEL epiwafers enable IBM/Chalmers to achieve record 64Gb/s over multimode fiber

IQE’s VCSEL epiwafers used by TU-Berlin for record power efficiencies in optical interconnects


Visit: www.iqep.com

See Latest IssueRSS Feed