VCSELs have been the workhorse of the datacomm industry for more than 15 years, with more than 500 million devices deployed in data infrastructure links including 10, 40 and 100 Gbps Ethernet, 16 Gbps FC, and 10, 14, and soon 25 Gbps/lane InfiniBand. VCSEL technology is also expanding into very short reach interconnect applications such as board-to-board and chip-to-chip interfaces where data rates, density, and power limit the practical application of electrical links.
One of the key advantages of VCSEL technology is its ability to modulate at high frequencies. VCSEL products are available at 25 Gbps, and data rates exceeding 50 Gbps have been demonstrated in the lab. VCSELs are also available in a range of wavelengths – from 650 to 1550 nm – making them ideal for use with a range of fiber types and applications requiring bidirectional connectivity. Numerous packaging options and vertical integration capabilities assure the compactness and cost-effectiveness of VCSEL-based applications.
The significant success of VCSELs in communications applications provides a foundation of reliability, performance, high production volumes, and supply stability for new communications applications and other emerging markets.