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TRUMPF VCSEL lasers support all conventional protocols

Data can be transmitted via electrical cables, wireless networks, or fibre optic networks. However, fibre optic communication offers a secure, high-quality and cost-effective way of transmitting large amounts of data over short and long distances using a single transmission medium. This leads to explosive growth that benefits consumers. Examples of this include our modern broadband internet and all associated audiovisual applications such as HD/4K television, streaming services and video conferencing. The need for short-range fibre optic connections in data centres is crucial. On this page you will find out why VCSEL and photodiode technology is the right solution for the data communication industry.

What is the role of VCSELs and photodiodes in data communication?

Data transmission is made possible by a VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) that transmits the information and a photodiode that receives and converts the information. A light source and a light detector-based fibre optic communications link are vital in meeting the ever-increasing demand for higher bit rates at lower cost, lower power consumption and high reliability.

While fibre optic links based on edge emitter lasers are used to transmit data over thousands of kilometres, an enormous number of short-range fibre optic connections using VCSEL and photodiodes are deployed within data centres for this purpose.  These connections also form part of the critical infrastructure for communication in high-performance computing. 

Where is optical data transmission used?

Data centres

Data centres house a large number of computer servers networked together to process and distribute data for remotely located organisations. An immense amount of data exchange takes place within a data centre, between the data centres, and to and from the clients. This data communication takes place via fibre optic cables using VCSEL as a light source to transmit the signal and a photodiode for decoding the signal. The Storage Area Networks (SAN) store the information on disk arrays (JBODs) and tape libraries provide the requested data to the servers. This is also an example of data communication within a data centre.

High Performance Computing

High Performance Computing (HPC) aggregates computing power to deliver enhanced performance required to solve larger and more complex problems in the fields of science and commerce. The data centres designed for HPC applications are equipped with computers with high-performing processors and densely packed servers to perform an extremely large volume of calculations in a short amount of time. Inside such data centres, the servers and switches for data transport are connected to transceivers and active optical cables (AOC) that are equipped with laser diodes (VCSEL) and photodiodes, but at higher speed and lower latency compared to regular or Ethernet data centres. 

Corporate networks

Corporate networks are widely used in companies and organisations to connect users and working groups and to facilitate the exchange of information. Corporate networks, which can include various networks such as local area networks and wide area networks, simplify telecommunications by integrating various systems such as computers, tablets, smartphones, WiFi and the networks.

Consumer data communication

Cables and I/O ports are designed to connect consumer products, such as televisions and desktop computers, and transmit data via a medium such as copper or fibre optic cable. Advanced technologies in consumer electronics are increasing the need for data communication between devices, which requires high data transfer rates.

TRUMPF VCSEL and photodiodes: key components in data communication

Technology image VCSEL and photodiodes for Datacom, TRUMPF Photonic Components

VCSELs are designed with a circular beam profile with a small deviation angle, which ensures efficient coupling of the light into the optical fibres. In addition, emitter arrays on a single chip are possible thanks to the vertical beam guidance.  The corresponding photodiode has a low dark current and an additional ground pad for better shielding, which also provides a ground-signal or ground-signal options  for assembly.

TRUMPF's VCSEL and photodiode solutions meet the highest standards for performance and reliability and are suitable for Ethernet, fibre channel or InfiniBand applications. Consumer markets can be served at scale with cost-effective VCSEL solutions that support HDMI, USB, or Thunderbolt applications.

Customer-specific solutions can be developed on request, e. g. in terms of array format, chip layout, emission wavelength, solder contacts or  base emission.

How do TRUMPF solutions benefit the data communication industry?

TRUMPF has over two decades of experience along with a solid track record of cutting-edge design and a state-of-the-art manufacturing platform that produces high-quality VCSELs and photodiodes. In contrast to other providers who compete with their customers with their own transceivers, TRUMPF Photonic Components is a pure component manufacturer of optical communication parts.  We support our customers with expert application assistance and expertise during the development and commissioning phase.  Customers also benefit from the company's stable, long-term approach, backed by a financially strong, privately owned parent company.

Long tradition

More than 20 years of experience in the VCSEL and photodiode field has resulted in industry-leading technological expertise.

Diversified product portfolio

The product portfolio for data communication includes VCSELs and photodiodes, i.e. correspondingly matched pairs. Tailor-made solutions are available in addition to standardised products.

Made in Germany

The company, headquartered in Germany, has several locations and operates Connected Technology Centres in Europe and the USA. We offer worldwide support for customer applications.

Family-owned company

TRUMPF Photonic Components is part of the TRUMPF Group, a family-run, independently operating holding company. The Group is one of the market and technology leaders in machine tools and lasers for industrial manufacturing.

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TRUMPF high-speed VCSELs enable reliable data transmission with low power input at the same time. The product portfolio comprises single emitters as well as VCSEL arrays for data rates of up to 100 Gbps.

TRUMPF photodiodes

TRUMPF high-speed photodiodes meet the most stringent demands in terms of power, efficiency and reliability. They are available for data rates of up to 100 Gbps, respectively as a 1x1 chip or 1x4 or 1x12 array.

Optical communication

What is optical data communication and what role do the two key components VCSEL and photodiodes play in big data centers? Find out all the details on our application page.

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