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Semi-Conductor Devices (SCD) is to lead an Israeli national consortium for development of novel vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) devices, the company announced on 8 March. The innovative technology will enable significant advances in performance and manufacturing potential for a range of defence and commercial applications.

Supported by the Israeli Innovation Authority through its MAGNET Consortium programme, the VCSEL consortium has been formed by leading high-tech companies and academic institutions, including Nvidia, Civan Advanced Technologies, Galil Microwaves, the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The focus will be to develop technologies for three main applications: high-power lasers, high-speed telecommunication, and atomic clocks.

Since being industrialised in the 1990s, VCSELs have become important building blocks in various applications, such as fiber-optic data transmission and, recently, facial recognition for smartphones. When it comes to manufacturability, VCSELs offer significant advantages over traditional edge-emitting laser technologies, including the ability to process large quantities of diodes on a single wafer, enabling testing at the wafer level, and more.

With the establishment of this consortium, SCD and leading scientists in the field intend to develop an innovative, high-power VCSEL that will enable a new paradigm in optical laser pumping for multiple commercial and defence applications. SCD will leverage its semiconductor expertise and long-standing history of developing and manufacturing high-power laser diodes to develop this next-generation VCSEL solution.

We have identified VCSELs as a potential game changer in the ever-growing world of high-power lasers, for many different applications,” commented Dan Slasky, SCD’s CEO. “SCD, with its strong tradition of technological innovation in the IR and laser domain, is once again pioneering an innovative technology which, if successful, will result in a significant impact on the laser industry.”

VCSEL devices will bring about radical capability enhancements for multiple disciplines, including high-energy lasers for defence applications. (Photo: SCD)

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