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Analysis of the current situation and development trend of VCSEL components market

Driven by the demand for 3D sensing, vehicle light and fiber transmission in the current terminal mobile phone, the market size of the infrared component has gradually grown, and the growth rate of VCSEL components is the most significant.
The VCSEL component itself has advantages in characteristics such as initial current, beam angle and shape, and is expected to gradually become the light used by the 3D sensing module, and drive the overall infrared component market to continue to grow.
Infrared component type and current ranging principle
1. Infrared component market size
The current infrared components, such as LEDs, lasers, etc., can be applied to lighting systems and navigation devices in daily life, and are widely used in the field, and can also be used in the terminal mobile phone 3D sensing module, thereby facilitating virtual reality, people. Face recognition and mobile payment related applications are possible.
In recent years, due to the gradual introduction of 3D sensing modules for medium and high-end mobile phone products, infrared components have become popular. The structure and principle of 3D sensing components are roughly used by more than two camera modules and infrared transmitting components. , to get the distance and shape of the object itself.
Further explore the global infrared component market, in addition to the traditional infrared lighting system, there are infrared laser systems (VCSEL and automotive LiDAR). Due to the use of LED components, the traditional infrared illumination system has weak illuminating energy and large beam angle, which makes the overall functionality insufficient. Most of them can only be applied to 2D face recognition and general security monitoring.
In the infrared laser part, due to the characteristics of large light source energy and angle concentration, it has been widely used in 3D sensing technology and vehicle ranging.
In response to the development of the global infrared component market, the overall market demand continues to flourish in both infrared lighting and laser product applications.
The overall market size estimate for 2019 is expected to exceed $1.64 billion, and as mobile 3D sensing components are gradually fermented, the overall size will gradually grow to approximately $2.2 billion in 2020.
2. Current main ranging principle
In the application of 3D sensing technology, the current main ranging principle can be divided into three categories: Stereo Vision, Structured Light and Time of Flight (ToF), each with different The measurement method and operation principle are finally calculated to obtain the distance and contour of the object to be tested.
The principle of stereo vision is mainly based on human visual parallax, which is simultaneously photographed by two (or more) camera modules, and the object distance is obtained after calculation. The structured light is mainly active depth sensing technology, and its structure is composed of IR (infrared) emitter, IR and RGB camera module and other components. After the IR array is used to project the spot, the object distance is obtained.
In addition, time-of-flight ranging is also an active depth sensing technology. The main function is to use IR emitter, IR receiver, RGB camera module and photosensitive element, and then project the infrared light through the IR emitter to calculate the middle turnback time. In this way, the distance and shape of the object are obtained.
3. Infrared component type
In general, infrared components can be classified into two types, such as infrared illumination and laser applications, depending on the purpose of use. However, if they are further classified by the principle of illumination of different products, they can be divided into LEDs, EELs (edge-emitting lasers), and VCSELs. Three different types of products, because of their different light source characteristics, current and frequency performance, each has a corresponding terminal application market.
Since the LED component has a simple light-emitting principle, it only needs to provide a higher operating current to drive the light, but the emitted light is still a divergent light source, and generally can only provide general illumination, or is further used in a 2D sensing system.
The EEL and VCSEL light rays are laser light. The principle of light emission is slightly different from that of LED light generation. It is also necessary to use the material structure design to obtain laser light after multiple reflections.
As for the difference between EEL and VCSEL, it is based on the design of the EEL's own component structure. The beam angle and shape of the illuminating beam are larger and elliptical than the VCSEL component. Therefore, at this stage, it is only suitable to provide a light source such as a general laser pen; and the illuminating angle of the VCSEL component. It is more suitable for the development of 3D sensing technology products, and is further applied to mobile phone face recognition and vehicle light ranging ranging systems.
Current GaAs VCSEL component supply chain and manufacturer dynamics
1. VCSEL component application and supply chain status
Current VCSEL components are well suited for use in 3D sensing technology due to their beam angle and shape advantages, and low initial current and high bandwidth. Since the release of the iPhone X series by Apple in 2018, the topic of 3D sensing technology has continued to be continuous. Recently, the medium and high mobile phone terminal products are equipped with 3D sensing face recognition function, vehicle light application and optical fiber transmission system. The level of discussion of related technologies and component requirements remains undiminished.
In addition to the trend of 3D sensing face recognition applications driven by Apple mobile phones, the VCSEL components of GaAs substrates have been gradually extended to the field of automotive light, etc., trying to replace the original divergence by the light energy concentration, beam angle and shape characteristics of VCSEL components. LED light source.
In addition, due to the 5G issue of fermentation, components related to optical communication, such as the data transmission capacity, bandwidth and distance of optical fiber, will also be the focus of subsequent development; while VCSEL components are trying to replace the traditional LED light source, providing wavelength 850nm, bandwidth Fiber optic application modules in the 5 to 200 Gbps range, thereby enhancing overall 5G transmission.
According to different main production areas, the VCSEL component supply chain can be divided into five major applications: GaAs substrate supplier, GaAs epitaxial wafer factory, IDM factory, manufacturing foundry and packaging and testing foundry.
For the material structure level, since the structure of the VCSEL element is quite complicated, and the material characteristics and the number of epitaxial layers are quite high, it is necessary to have a highly difficult epitaxial technology to be smoothly produced. However, the profit of VCSEL components is still much higher than that of general infrared component LEDs, making IDM manufacturers (such as IQE, brand new optoelectronics), VCSEL and other IDM plants (such as II-VI, Lumentum) and LED factories (such as wafers and photoelectrics). Demolition into Jingcheng Semiconductor, Osram, etc.) All have been invested or transformed into VCSEL component development, the current market has become a hundred schools of contention.
From the perspective of the supply chain, VCSEL components must use GaAs substrate materials, and the initial work can be completed by the epitaxial process to a complex material structure.
Then the finished wafer is sent to the IDM factory for processing, or transferred to the subcontracting OEM mode, and sent to the manufacturing and packaging and testing foundry for subsequent manufacturing, packaging and testing, and finally a complete VCSEL component is produced. .
2. The integration dynamics of IDM manufacturers such as VCSEL components
In recent years, IDM manufacturers aiming at VCSEL components have turned to mergers and acquisitions related manufacturing manufacturers or other IDM plants to expand their market share. Just as II-VI began to acquire Epiworks, Anadigics and Kaiam in January 2016, and successfully completed the acquisition of Apple mobile phone Face ID module supplier Finisar in September 2019; another IDM manufacturer Lumentum also in 2018 In March, the acquisition of Oclaro was completed.
In addition, AMS successfully acquired companies such as Heptagon and Princeton Optronics in February and March 2017, but the acquisition of Osram in early 2019 failed. Although the merger was still unsuccessful at this stage, there is still a chance for follow-up AMS. Fight for mergers and acquisitions again.
Overall, IDM manufacturers such as VCSEL components have adopted a consolidation model. Although a small number of mergers and acquisitions have been broken due to the failure to negotiate shares, most cases can successfully include related manufacturing OEMs or IDM plants.
Therefore, according to the development model of the initial VCSEL component manufacturing, although in the chaotic situation of the masses, the current market development with several IDM manufacturers (such as II-VI, Lumentum and AMS) after successive acquisition of other related companies The situation of the big Evergrande has gradually formed. This will help the VCSEL components to be more complete in overall development and specification, and to improve the market penetration of subsequent terminal product applications.
Further observation of the integration dynamics of IDM manufacturers such as VCSEL components, we can find that the original components that focus on the production of LEDs, such as Osram and Epistar, have successively announced mergers and acquisitions (such as Osram acquisition Vixar) in March 2018 or announced the spin-off. Manufacturing foundry method (Crystal Optoelectronics Separation of Crystal Semiconductor), dedicated to the development of VCSEL components.
As far as the time and space background and market situation were concerned, the manufacturers would make this decision, mainly due to the poor environment. From the perspective of product development model, LED-related industries have entered a relatively mature and declining stage, component prices and profitability have been greatly worse than before, coupled with the pressure of low-cost competition among Chinese manufacturers in recent years, it has also forced some international companies to start. Look for possibilities for other end product applications. At this point, the VCSEL laser luminescent component market is a good development opportunity.
Although the principle of illumination of VCSEL laser elements is almost the same as that of LED elements, the material structure is still much more complicated than that of LED elements, and with Osram and Epistar (after being split into manufacturing foundries -
Jingcheng Semiconductor) The long-term research and development and epitaxial capabilities for LED components seem to be difficult for transferring into production-related laser components.
For these IDM manufacturers that manufacture LED components, the gradual shift to the development of VCSEL component production models will help increase corporate profitability.
Future VCSEL development trends and application areas
Due to the gradual growth of the infrared component application market, the 3D sensing technology, the vehicle light and the optical fiber transmission of the terminal mobile phone at this stage are drastically developed.
In the future, the application of VCSEL components may gradually develop toward the security monitor application of light source illumination, the mobile phone fingerprint identification module of the light sensing market, and the application of wearable devices.
Based on its physical characteristics, it is considered that the light source of the VCSEL component is easily interfered by external light (daylight), which makes it difficult for the receiving end to accurately receive the projection light source. Therefore, the material structure of the VCSEL component must be adjusted for the receiving interference, and the subsequent By growing other different material epitaxial layers, such as InGaAs, AlGaAs, etc. as the active layer (Active Layer),
This will extend the development of VCSEL components with different wavelengths (such as 650 ~ 1,600 nm), providing new applications for light sensing, optical communication and light illumination.

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