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Infrared VCSEL laser has LED performance

Infrared VCSEL laser has LED performance

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty



Rohm has developed an infrared light source that encapsulates a VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) element in a resin optical diffusion material for laser light.

The Rohm VCSELED aims to improve automotive Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS) and In-Cabin Monitoring Systems (IMS) with a more accurate VCSEL laser with the stability and wide beam of an LED.

In the EU there are plans to make installation of driver monitoring systems mandatory in all new vehicles sold in Europe from July 2024 onwards. Car makers and suppliers are also developing in-vehicle monitoring systems to detect occupants other than the driver, and there is a growing awareness of the need for high-performance light sources that enable detection systems to function with greater precision.

The VCSELED achieves high-accuracy sensing with minimal wavelength temperature variation combined with a wide emission beam angle. This makes it suitable for in-vehicle monitoring systems but can also be used for to improve the accuracy and performance of inspection systems for robots and industrial equipment as well as spatial recognition and ranging systems.

VCSELED extends the beam (irradiation) angle similar to LEDs by combining a high-performance VCSEL element and light diffusion material to enable sensing over a wider area with higher accuracy than VCSELs. Integrating the light emitting element and light diffuser into the same 3.0 x 3.0 x 0.55mm package also enables smaller, thinner applications.

The VCSEL element has a narrow emission wavelength bandwidth of 4nm, approximately one-seventh that of LEDs. This characteristic improves resolution performance on the receiving side while eliminating the red glow often associated with LEDs.

At the same time, a wavelength temperature variation of 0.072nm/°C – less than one-fourth that of LEDs (0.3nm/°C) – allows for high-accuracy sensing unaffected by temperature changes. Furthermore, the response time when emitting light is 2ns, approx. 7.5 times faster than LEDs, contributing to higher performance in ToF (Time of Flight) applications that use infrared light to measure distance.

Rohm is working on commercializing VCSELED as a new technology brand for infrared light source components. Prototype samples is available for purchase now, with mass production samples for consumer scheduled for release in October 2024 and automotive use in 2025.

www.rohm.com

 

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