Trumpf Photonic Components, a global leader in high-speed VCSEL and photodiode solutions for data communication and KDPOF, an expert in high-speed optical networking solutions based in Spain, have become strategic partners on automotive datacom solutions. Both companies pursue the goal of implementing state-of-the art optical data communication standards and solutions for the automotive industry. Therefore, Trumpf and KDPOF are combining their knowledge in the field of components and networks for optical data communication. “With our strategic partnership we are going one step further and aim to establish VCSEL and optical networks as indispensable part in future cars. Having a supplier like Trumpf as a partner in working groups enrich the discussion with deep manufacturing and design knowledge of VCSEL and photodiodes components,” explains Rubén Pérez-Aranda, CTO at KDPOF.
Autonomous driving cars benefit from VCSEL technology
Due to the push in the automotive branch towards autonomous driving, a large amount of data has to be processed in cars. Consequently, optical interconnects are required to manage the data flow, acting as a nervous system connecting sensors and electronic brains, while meeting tight electro-magnetic interference requirements. “After a long-term cooperation, it’s great to enter a strategic partnership with KDPOF now, combining our long-term expertise to shape the future of data communication within car networks,” says Joseph Pankert, VP Product Management at TRUMPF Photonic Components. “Our long-term studies have already proven that 980nm VCSELs can operate at much higher temperatures while maintaining excellent reliability. This is exactly what the automotive industry is demanding, and therefore we support the movement towards a new, long-wavelength standard”, Pankert adds.
The particularly demanding application in the automotive sector
Compared to datacenters, automotive applications require not only a much wider range of operating temperatures, ranging from minus 40 °C up to 125 °C, but also an interconnect length of even less than 40 meters. For superior robustness against wear-outs and random failures, 980nm VCSEL is recognized as the wavelength preferred to become the new standard. Next to performance characteristics, 980nm enters to existing OM3 fibers with only limited dispersion loss.
Official standard on its way
Both TRUMPF and KDPOF are participants in the IEEE P802.3cz task force. The current draft approved in IEEE 802.3 working group ballot for automotive optical multi-gigabit data transmission provides optical specifications that make use of reliable light sources based on proven longer wavelength technology. Driver assistance and autonomous vehicle operation will benefit from the equipment made of standardized components. “The automotive industry is a very demanding. The IEEE 802.3 standard is therefore focusing on highly reliable conditions that delivers a service life of 15 years and more”, says Pérez-Aranda.