Philips Photonics, global leader in VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers) technology solutions for data communications, consumer and industrial applications, has successfully completed its ‘VIDaP’ project (VCSEL Pilot Line for Illumination, Datacom and Power Applications), a €23 million project jointly sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the EU, and executed under the umbrella of the European ECSEL program.

Since its inception in 2014, the project has focused on making significant advancements in highly automated manufacturing, bringing VCSEL production to the same level of maturity as the LED industry. Philips Photonics led the project. Other partners were IQE Ltd, STMicroelectronics, Sidel, SICK AG, Mellanox Technologies Ltd, and the Technical University of Eindhoven.

VCSELs are key components that drive and enable the advancement of numerous fast-growing digital technology markets. Philips and its consortium partners have successfully demonstrated the capability to manufacture VCSELs to the same standards as other high volume semiconductor components. The capability will help to unlock the potential of new solutions such as high speed data transmission, 3D recognition, optical sensors such as Lidar and digital industrial thermal processes, whilst significantly reducing the size of sensors and energy consumption in data centres and thermal industrial processes.

“With the digital revolution firmly underway, the market need for VCSELs is rapidly accelerating. Anticipating this demand, over the past few years we have invested consistently in research, product development and efficient manufacturing processes,” said Joseph Pankert, General Manager, Philips Photonics.