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TRUMPF VCSEL lasers support all conventional protocols

Data communication

Data can be transmitted on electrical cables, wireless networks or using fiber optics networks. However, fiber-optics communication offers a secure, high quality and cost-effective means of transferring massive volumes of data over short and long distances through a transmission medium. This has enabled explosive growth for consumers. Examples for this include our modern high-speed internet and all the audiovisual applications that come along with it, such as HD/4K television, streaming services and video conferences. It all comes down to the need for short reach fiber-optic links within data centers. Find out on this page why VCSEL and photodiode technology is the right solution for the data communications industry.

What role do VCSEL and photodiodes play in data communication?

Data transfer is enabled by a VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) that transmits the information and a photodiode that receives and translates the information. A light source and a light detector-based fiber-optic communication link are critical in meeting datacom’s ever-increasing demand for higher bit rates at lower cost, lower power and high reliability.

While the edge emitter laser based fiber-optic links are used to communicate data over thousands of miles, an enormous number of short-reach, fiber-optic links using VCSELs and photodiodes are deployed inside data centers for this purpose. These links are a part of critical infrastructure for communication in high performance computing as well. 

Where is optical data communication used?

Data centers

Data centers house a large number of computer servers networked together to process and distribute data for remotely located organizations. An immense amount of data exchange takes place within a data center, between the data centers and to and from its clients. This data communication takes place over optical fiber using VCSEL as a light source to transmit the signal and a photodiode for decoding the signal. The storage area networks (SAN) which store the information on disk arrays (JBODs) and tape libraries provides the requested data to the servers. This is also an example of data communication within a data center.

High Performance Computing

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

Enterprise Networks

Enterprise networks are widely used by corporations and organizations to tie together users and workgroups, allowing an exchange of information. Enterprise networks, which could include various networks such as local area networks and wide area networks, simplify telecommunication by integrating various systems such as computer, tablets, smartphones, WiFi and the networks.

Consumer data communication

Cables and I/O ports are designed to connect the consumer products such as television and desktop computers and transfer data over a transmission medium such as copper or fiber-optic cables. With the advancing technologies in consumer electronics, the need for data communication between the devices is increasing, requiring high rates of data transfer.

TRUMPF VCSEL and photodiodes: key components of data communication

Technology image VCSEL and photodiodes for Datacom, TRUMPF Photonic Components

Due to their design, VCSELs have a circular beam profile with a low divergence angle which ensures efficient coupling of light to the optical fibers. In addition, the vertical beam guidance allows the realization of emitter arrays on one single chip. The matching photodiode has low dark current and an additional ground pad for better shielding, which also provides ground-signal or signal-ground options for mounting.

TRUMPF VCSEL and photodiode solutions meet the highest standards in performance and reliability, suitable for Ethernet, fiber-channel or infiniband applications. High volume consumer markets can be addressed with cost-efficient VCSEL solutions supporting HDMI, USB, or Thunderbolt applications.

On request, customized solutions can be developed, e.g. in terms of array format, chip layout, emission wavelength, solder bumps or bottom-emission.

How does the data communication industry benefit from TRUMPF solutions?

TRUMPF has over two decades of experience and a strong track record in cutting-edge design and state-of-the-art manufacturing platform that produces high quality VCSELs and photodiodes. Unlike some suppliers who compete with their customers with their own transceivers, TRUMPF Photonic Components is a pure component manufacturer of components for optical communication. We support our customers by providing expert application support and know-how during the design-in and ramp-up phase. The customers also benefit from the company’s stable, long-term-view approach supported by a financially strong, privately held parent company.

Long heritage

More than 20 years of experience in VCSELs and photodiodes has led to industry leading technological know-how.

Diversified product portfolio

The product portfolio for data communication offers VCSELs and photodiodes, and therefore also includes matched pairs. Not only are standardized products available but also customized solutions as well.

German-based company

With its headquarters in Germany, the company is operating in multiple locations and offers Connected Technology Centers in Europe and the US. Worldwide customer application support is offered.

Family-owned business

TRUMPF Photonic Components is part of the TRUMPF Group, a family-owned, independent working holding. The Group is market and technology leader 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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