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3 November 2020

Umicore qualifying 6” germanium wafers for VCSEL applications

Umicore Electro-Optic Materials (EOM), which supplies germanium products and materials solutions, says that, in collaboration with leading commercial and academic partners, it has developed 6-inch germanium wafers for vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers.

VCSELs are a key component in telecom and 3D sensor systems. Applications range from data-centers to face recognition systems and light detection & ranging (LiDAR) time-of-flight sensors on mobile handsets and in-cabin sensing of autonomous vehicles. To increase the working distance of these sensors, VCSEL array sizes and costs are growing, which is one of the drivers to transition from gallium arenide (GaAs) to germanium wafers.

“For very demanding applications such as VCSELs, defect-free 6” germanium wafers show clear performance and process cost benefits in comparison with GaAs wafers,” says Bendix De Meulemeester, director marketing & business development. “Umicore has invested years of research in the development of defect-free low-resistivity 6” germanium wafers, which are currently in the process of qualification,” he adds. “Production volumes are expected to ramp over the next few years as adoption across the VCSEL supply chain accelerates.”

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Tags: Umicore VCSEL