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Irish Start-up To Develop VCSELs (Fiber News)

The National Microelectronics Research Centre (Cork, Ireland) has spun-off a new company called FireComms to make resonant cavity LEDs (RCLEDs) and visible VCSELs for use in datacom and telecommunications applications. Leveraging eight years of intellectual property and expertise attained at the center, FireComms will initially produce prototype visible VCSELs and RCLEDs on GaAs substrates for use as sources for plastic optical fiber links. Future plans for high-volume manufacturing are based on a fabless approach. Plastic optical fiber links potentially offer a low-cost way to connect consumer products such as computers, audio visual equipment and central computer systems in automobiles over short distances with high bandwidth. FireComms hopes to access a large potential market for the visible sources required for such links, which include 650 nm RCLEDs, and VCSELs at the longer wavelength of 670 nm. So far, plastic optical fiber links have demonstrated data transfer rates of 3 GHz over 100 m using special plastic fiber (see Compound Semiconductor August 2000, p65). Plastic optical fiber links could also become important to connect devices in future technologies for automotive, telecommunications consumer electronics manufacturers.
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