980nm VCSELs: New Standard in Automotive – presented by TRUMPF and KDPOF

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At the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) in September 2022 in Basel, Switzerland, Dr. Joseph Pankert, VP Product Management at Trumpf Photonic Components, and Rubén Pérez-Aranda, CTO and Co-founder of KDPOF, presented “980nm VCSELs: New Standard in Automotive”. KDPOF is proud to have been part of the program at the continent’s largest event in the field and one of the most prestigious and traditional events on optical communications worldwide.


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Autonomous drive technology requires processing large amounts of data within cars. As a consequence, optical interconnects will be required to manage the data flow. The technology, as standardized in the IEEE803.2cz group, is based on multimode interconnects. Compared to datacenters, automotive requires a much wider range of operating temperatures (-40 °C up to 125 °C backside), and an interconnect length of only below 40m. The VCSEL wavelength choice is 980nm because of its superior robustness against wear-out and random failures. Moreover, 980nm fits to existing OM3 fibers with only limited dispersion loss. We present progress in developing a full 980nm interconnect.

Autonomous Driving Cars Benefit from VCSEL Technology

TRUMPF Photonic Components and KDPOF have become strategic partners on automotive datacom solutions. Both companies pursue the goal of implementing state-of-the art optical data communication standards and solutions for the automotive industry. Therefore, TRUMPF and KDPOF are combining their knowledge in the field of components and networks for data communication. “With our strategic partnership we are going one step further and aim to establish VCSEL and optical networks as indispensable part in future cars,” explained Rubén Pérez-Aranda. “Having a supplier like TRUMPF as a partner in working groups enrich the discussion with deep manufacturing and design knowledge of VCSEL and photodiodes components.”

Due to the push in the automotive branch towards autonomous driving, a large amount of data has to be processed in cars. Consequently, optical interconnects are required to manage the data flow, acting as a nervous system connecting sensors and electronic brains, while meeting tight electro-magnetic interference requirements. “After a long-term cooperation, it’s great to enter a strategic partnership with KDPOF now, combining our long-term expertise to shape the future of data communication within car networks,” added Joseph Pankert, VP Product Management at TRUMPF Photonic Components. “Our long-term studies have already proven that 980nm VCSELs can operate at much higher temperatures while maintaining excellent reliability. This is exactly what the automotive industry is demanding, and therefore we support the movement towards a new, long-wavelength standard.”

Learn more about the strategic partnership of KDPOF and TRUMPF in the press release: TRUMPF and KDPOF become strategic partners for automotive data communication solutions