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Philips Photonics Reaches One Billion VCSEL Milestone

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Strong growth in smartphone 3D sensing applications is driving market growth

Philips Photonics, a German maker of VCSELs for data communications, consumer and industrial applications has reached the shipment milestone of one billion VCSELs.

This cumulative milestone comes after two years of significant growth in demand for VCSEL technology, driven by trends such as the introduction of proximity sensing and 3D facial recognition technology in consumer smartphones.

“Reaching the milestone of one billion VCSELs is a testament to the strong demand we see in the market today and in the coming years. Through continuous investment in our business, from research and development to quality manufacturing processes, we have been able to meet the rapidly growing global demand and cement our position as a European industry leader for VCSEL technology,” said Joseph Pankert, general manager, Philips Photonics. “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.”

Last year the business announced plans to double production capacity by early 2018. Having successfully completed this expansion, Philips Photonics now plans to double production capacity at its Ulm, Germany facility within the next 18 months.

Philips Photonics has been the leading partner of the European ‘VIDaP' project (VCSEL Pilot Line for Illumination, Datacom and Power Applications), which has enabled the VCSEL industry to standardise the design, manufacture and testing of VCSEL technology, matching the same high standards as other high-volume semiconductor components.

Philips' leading role in the project has enabled the business to grow beyond traditional VCSEL use cases such as optical data transmission and thermal industrial processes, while also supporting innovative new technology applications such as consumer facial recognition and Lidar for autonomous vehicles. Philips Photonics is uniquely positioned to serve the full spectrum of traditional and emerging VCSEL applications.

Global revenues for the VCSEL market currently stand at several hundred million dollars, and are predicted to increase to $3.5 billion by 2023, largely driven by sharp growth in consumer technology applications.


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