The compound semiconductor specialist Seoul Viosys has released a new vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL). Seoul Viosys is the first Korean company to offer a VCSEL product, and is hoping to capture a portion of a $1.1 billion VCSEL market that is expected to grow to $2.7 billion within the next five years.
VCSEL is a light-based communication technology that uses laser diodes to convert electrical signals into optical ones. The technology is expected to be in particularly high demand in the next generation of 5G devices, since it can support the high data requirements of camera-based Time-of-Flight and 3D sensing applications and LiDAR applications in smart vehicles.
Seoul Viosys’ near-field-only 25Gbps VSCEL laser diode can be deployed in single and four-channel configurations. The company has already secured its first three customers, and is in the midst of an approval process that could add another automotive system developer to the list. Seoul Viosys will enter mass production in the first quarter of 2021 to meet that demand.
“Interest in VCSEL technology is growing, since it is a critical technology for implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) environment,” said a Seoul Viosys representative. “Seoul Viosys will continue to research and develop the VCSEL technology to expand and apply our differentiated VCSELs to 5G communication-based smart cities, autonomous driving applications, AR/VR, and industrial IoT markets.”
According to Seoul Viosys, the VSCEL market is currently being dominated by I-VI, Lumentum, and Broadcom, all three of which are based in the United States and the latter of which recently sold its entire wireless IoT portfolio to Synaptics. Seoul Viosys is hoping to peel off some of that business with a competitively priced product that emits light vertically rather than horizontally. Synaptics, meanwhile, paid a disclosed price of $250 million for Broadcom’s IoT business.