NSF awards Vixar a Phase I SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) contract to develop a 40-100Gbps VCSEL

January 3, 2012

The NSF has awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract to demonstrate the feasibility of a Composite Resonator VCSEL (CRVCL) achieving a 40-100Gbps serial data transmission rate. The continued rapid increase in Internet bandwidth demand requires higher speed data links at all distances, including within and between cabinets in servers and high performance computing, and even between and on boards within a cabinet. VCSELs have been the engine driving bandwidth increases at shorter distances (<300 meters) for more than a decade, but it appears that conventional VCSEL technology may be running out of steam somewhere between 20 and 30Gbps. Straightforward design enhancement of conventional VCSELs will not satisfy the requirements. The novelty of the design proposed in this project has been validated by the allowance of claims in our patent application. The approach avoids relaxation oscillation limitations on modulation speed through the use of a dual cavity VCSEL operated in a push-pull configuration. The goals of the Phase I project are to fabricate a CRVCL, demonstrate the push-pull nature of the modulation to a minimum of 20GHz, and demonstrate the elimination or dramatic reduction in relaxation oscillations.

In addition to allowing continued expansion of bandwidth in Storage Area Networks or High Performance Computing, a 40Gbps+ VCSEL will be essential for the development of optical interconnects within a cabinet or circuit board. Copper based interconnects are increasingly the limiting factor in system performance due to their size and power consumption, but the replacement by optical interconnects will require high speed per channel (40Gbps), very low power, high reliability, and low cost. Vixar’s concept addresses all four considerations. Higher speed devices feeds the bandwidth expansion allowing the continued improvements in business productivity, management of medical information, and entertainment options we have come to expect, and helps maintain the U.S. competitiveness and employment in the networking market. The reduction in power consumption helps achieve the industry and government goals for reducing the power consumption of data centers. Vixar personnel have a long history of commercializing VCSEL component technology and have already identified potential commercialization partners for a high-speed VCSEL.

For further information, contact Wade Campbell, at wcampbell@vixarinc.com or (763) 746-8045, x-305.


About Vixar:

Vixar manufactures high performance, cost-effective Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) products in the wavelength range from 650nm to 800nm. VCSEL based components and subassemblies enhance customer value for sensor and device applications within the biomedical, industrial, office product, military, automotive and consumer industries.

Our product offering includes both standard products and custom designed solutions. Vixar is dedicated to providing the highest levels of performance, consistency and reliability in our product offerings.