Osram Opto Semiconductors launched the Bidos PLPVQ 940A, its first Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser, or VCSEL. The VCSEL is part of a new product family that the company expects to pave the way for applications such as 3D sensing.
The product launch follows soon after Osram’s acquisition of US VCSEL specialist Vixar. When used for mobile 3D, biometric sensing, the VCSEL serves as a light source, illuminating the face evenly with infrared light. A mobile camera captures the significant facial features of the user. The captured image is then compared with the image of the user stored in the system. If the two images match, the mobile device will be unlocked.
VCSELs combine the advantages of two lighting technologies, the high power density and simple packaging of an IR LED with the spectral width and speed of a laser. Unlike laser diodes, which are edge emitters, Bidos is a surface emitter that emits light perpendicular to the surface of the semiconductor chip. Also, unlike laser diodes, Osram points out that its wavelength is much less sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Additionally, Osram asserts that a VCSEL chip is much easier to install in an end application and can be glued into the package like an LED chip or used an array consisting of several hundred individual apertures per VCSEL chip.
VCSEL Comes in Compact Form Factor
The compact form factor of the PLPVQ 940A, means it can be integrated into mobile devices as a light source for facial recognition, delivering uniform illumination for the entire face.
“Compared with other infrared technologies, VCSEL offer better beam quality, excellent focusing and a very small footprint”, said Bianka Schnabel, Marketing Manager for the Emitter Laser Sensor segment at Osram Opto Semiconductors. “Customers can now choose the best solution for their specific application from our extended infrared portfolio – whether it’s IRED, laser or VCSEL.”
The 940 nm wavelength PLPVQ 940A provides an output of 300mW with a maximum efficiency of 27 percent. Two bond wires supply the laser diode uniformly and rapidly with energy. The VCSEL produces a rectangular light distribution with an emission of 65° x 78°. The package measures just 1.90 mm x 2.20 mm x 0.85 mm.
In addition to its potential use for facial recognition, the components are suitable for applications in drones, and robotics, as well as augmented reality, and virtual reality.