The VCSEL market will explode
VCSEL technology may not be new, the first components were commercialised by Honeywell over 20 years ago in 1996, but the introduction of VCSEL technology in mobile applications in 2017 looks set to drive a 10 fold increase in demand over the next 5 or 6 years.
Relative to technologies like LED, VCSEL offers coherent, symmetrical, low divergence optical beam technology (typically 15 degrees) giving it a high degree of usable optical emission as a semiconductor optical source. Just like LEDs however It offers a high efficiency around 20% but its planar structure with vertical emission means it can be tested during wafer processing before sawing and building higher level assemblies. (see table 1 & 2) Some analysts such as Yole expect that the upcoming demand for consumer devices including front side for face recognition and rear side for 3D simulation applications for clothing / furniture plus applications like LiDAR could lead to growth of market volumes to US$3500 Million by 2023.
Using the experience from LED
Evatec has over 10 years experience in supporting the worlds leading LED manufacturers with sputter and evaporation processes. On one hand we could help them increase device performance by improving light output and other LED device properties, but on the other hand we also helped them implement processes driving down costs. ITO production on our CLUSTERLINE® RAD (CLN RAD) as well as “lift off” processes on BAK evaporator family are now LED industry standard. Sharing their device requirements, the real device performance data achieved and their new ideas, they worked together with Evatec optimizing processes to create a successful LED business, irrespective if it was a more cost-driven LED commodity-product for the lighting industry or a high power LED device for an automotive application.
Just like in LED, the explosion in demand for VCSEL will now set manufacturers the same challenges in driving up device performance, improving manufacturing yields, and lowering production costs.