Philips Photonics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Philips Electronics based in Ulm, Germany, reports that it has shipped one billion vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs).
Philips Photonics has served as the lead partner of the European “VIDaP” project (VCSEL Pilot Line for Illumination, Datacom and Power Applications).
This recently completed project has enabled the VCSEL makers to standardize the design, manufacturing, and testing of VCSEL technology, meeting the same high standards as other high-volume semiconductor components.
The company says that the VIDaP project has enabled the VCSEL business to grow beyond traditional use cases including optical data transmission and thermal industrial processes. The project also supports new technology applications including LiDAR for autonomous and semiautonomous vehicles and and consumer facial recognition.
According to the company, this milestone comes after two years of growing demand for VCSEL technology. Philips Photonics points to trends such as the introduction of 3D-facial recognition in consumer smartphones and proximity sensing as the drivers of the growing demand.
As announced last year, Philips Photonics doubled its production capacity by early 2018. Now, the company intends to double production capacity at its facility in Ulm, Germany within the next 18 months.
Consumer Electronics applications are expected to drive much of the growth in revenue for the VCSEL market from several hundred million to US$ 3.5 Billion by 2023.
“We are seeing very strong levels of interest from the consumer electronics sector, and we expect this to continue in the coming years as more manufacturers adopt facial recognition technology in their new smartphone models,” said Joseph Pankert, General Manager, Philips Photonics.