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40GB/s VCSEL technology for next generation optical communications demonstrated by IQE

IQE plc has published a joint paper in Electronic Letters entitled "40 Gbit/s error-free operation of an oxide-confined 850nm Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL)

The paper reports on the significant demonstration of IQE's VCSEL materials capability for high data transfer rate optical transmission required for applications such as Active Optical Cables and Intel's LightPeak.

Existing copper interconnects between consumer devices such as BluRay DVD and High Definition TVs are limited to data transfer rates of 0.48GB/s. Furthermore, transmission distances for copper interconnects decrease significantly at higher transmission rates.

The first generation of optical cables are designed to support data transfer speeds of up to 10GB/s which is well within the 40GB/s demonstrated by IQE and its partners in the European Union funded Vertically Integrated Systems for Information Transfer (VISIT) programme.

The devices demonstrated in this project set a new world record for data transmission at 850nm which is the standard wavelength used for peripheral and LAN optical interconnects.



Mr. Andrew Joel, Product Director said:

"IQE has established a clear leadership position in VCSEL technology which has uniquely positioned the group to exploit its expertise in the next generation of high speed optical cables to meet the demands of ever increasing data transfer rates for consumer, industrial, automotive and aerospace applications.

"High speed optical interconnects such as Intel's LightPeak are designed to operate at twenty times the speed of today's copper technology and will be scalable to 100GB/s in the coming years.

"In addition to the higher data speeds, optical connectors can be used over significantly longer distances than would be possible with copper based cables."

Other members of the VISIT programme are Intel (Ireland), VI Systems (Germany), Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), The University of Cambridge (UK), University College Cork (Ireland), The Technical University of Berlin (Germany) and the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia).

In July 2008 IQE's epiwafer material was used to demonstrate 25GB/s VCSEL capability as part of the initial phase of the VISIT programme.

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