In 2017, the appearance of iPhone X made 3D sensing technology that provides Face ID face unlocking a hot spot, and also brought the core component VCSEL in the 3D sensing module. In fact, VCSEL is not a new technology, its birth dates back to the 1980s, and it was commercialized as early as 1996.
This VCSEL technology, which has been turned red again due to apples, is one of the infrared laser technologies.
1.What is a VCSEL? What is the working principle of VSCEL?
VCSEL is an abbreviation for vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser, which refers to a vertical cavity surface emitting laser, which is a single-chip laser resonator that emits light perpendicular to the surface of a semiconductor chip, as opposed to an edge-emitting laser (EEL). The light is emitted from the edge of the chip.
2.What are the advantages of VCSELs compared to EEL (edge emitting lasers)?
The similarities between the two: EEL and VCSEL have narrow bandwidth; the extremely short switching times of EEL and VCSEL make them suitable for TOF (Time of Flight) applications.
VCSEL technology combines the technical advantages of both parties. The temperature sensitivity of the VCSEL wavelength is much lower than that of the EEL. It is capable of emitting temperature optics in a specified direction, with high energy density and simple packaging of infrared light, as well as the spectral width of linear emitters such as EEL technology. A key feature of this surface emitter is its low cost of production compared to edge emitters, as well as lower output power and superior beam quality.
3.Where is the VCSEL used?
VCSEL technology can now be used in many applications and in a variety of end consumer markets such as robotics, mobile devices, surveillance, drones, and AR/VR. VCSELs are a good choice for applications that require high-speed modulation, such as cameras and biometrics.
Lower production costs and higher reliability make VCSELs more widely used in consumer electronics, such as 3D sensing and facial recognition, which are considered to be major market growth points.
4.Similar to infrared technology, what manufacturing synergies are VCSELs bringing?
Similarities with infrared technology can also lead to manufacturing synergies, reflected in the integration, packaging and testing processes:
- Chip manufacturing: Full vertical structure enables manufacturers to use traditional semiconductor manufacturing equipment to maintain low production costs
- Reliability: VCSELs do not suffer from the failure of conventional laser structures, such as dark lines. At the same time, because VCSELs can be mounted in an array and have a very long lifetime, they are not afraid of catastrophic optical damage, unlike systems based on single or small LED/EEL.
- Testability: The VCSEL can withstand complete testing and overload verification in the wafer state. This not only increases production but also reduces costs.
- Scalability: VCSEL can easily form a 1D or 2D array to increase output power to meet specific needs.
- Package: VCSEL can reduce cost by using traditional low-cost LED packaging equipment, and allows LED to replace VCSEL in existing equipment
Custom package: On-board chip technology and custom package can be used to simplify system integration process
5.Will VCSEL replace other infrared technologies?
Although VCSEL has many advantages over the prior art, it is not a universal solution that is automatically applied to all industries. VCSEL does not compete with the existing technology, but an extension of the infrared technology product lineup.
6.What are the recent actions of major international manufacturers?
- OSRAM acquired Vixar in the last year and strengthened its business portfolio of semiconductor lighting and laser technology. Shortly after the acquisition of US specialist Vixar, OSRAM launched the first VCSEL product, the Bidos PLPVQ 940A series, setting new standards for markets including mobile device facial recognition. At the same time, as a German high-tech company, OSRAM will complement its wide range of infrared (IR) technology products through VCSEL solutions to help customers benefit from a wide range of VCSEL technologies and select the most suitable for each application. Program.
▲ OSRAM’s first VCSEL product PLPVQ 940A
- At the end of last year, according to media reports, Philips agreed to sell its growing VCSEL business – Philips Photonics to a German old company called Trumpf, which is expected to be sold in the second quarter of this year. Philips Photonics is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Philips of Germany, based in Ulm, Germany. Philips acquired UVSEL in 2006 and acquired it as Philips Photonics.