VCSEL’s advanced technology enables nextgen applications including 3D facial recognition, augmented reality, automotive in-cabin sensing and machine vision for autonomous vehicles and robotics.

What is VCSEL technology?

A vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) is a semiconductor-based laser diode that emits a highly efficient optical beam vertically from its top surface. VCSELs differ from other common semiconductor optical sources such as Edge Emitting Lasers (EEL) that emit light from the side and Light Emitting Diodes (LED) that emit light from all directions.

Typical VCSEL Cross Section

VCSEL Cross Section

Because VCSELs emit light perpendicular to the surface of the laser, tens of thousands of VCSELs can be processed on a single wafer.  VCSELs can also be tested at various stages of the manufacturing process while in wafer form, resulting in a more controlled and predictable yield with lower fabrication costs compared to other laser technologies.

In addition, VCSELs can be implemented in a two-dimensional array, enabling a single die to comprise hundreds of individual light sources to increase maximum output power and long-term reliability.  This array can be customized to scale power output to optimally match application requirements using only a single optical driver and drive current.

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