02 Mar II-VI to double manufacturing capacity of optical filters
02 Mar 2021
For applications in PCR Covid-19 test instrumentation and 5G optical access, firm to invest over five-year period.
II‐VI, a provider of precision optics for life sciences and optical networks, is to begin the expansion of its manufacturing footprint in Santa Rosa, California, with the aim of doubling over the next five years its manufacturing capacity of optical filters for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) instrumentation and 5G optical access networks.
The company stated that “rapid growth in PCR testing for Covid-19 and the ongoing buildout of the 5G optical access infrastructure are simultaneously driving the demand for optical filters with high performance and reliability, necessitating sustained multiyear investments in production capacity.”
II-VI initiated the buildout of recently secured manufacturing space in Santa Rosa, and began procuring manufacturing equipment, including coating chambers, to double manufacturing capacity over the next five years.
“We would like to thank the inventors, designers, manufacturers, and operators of PCR test systems whom, we estimate, enabled hundreds of millions of PCR tests that helped mitigate the global spread of Covid-19,” said Dr. Chuck Mattera, Chief Executive Officer, II-VI Incorporated.
“We were proud in 2020 to focus on our contributions to the global PCR testing capacity with our state-of-the-art filter coatings capabilities. Now, in 2021, we are doubling down on our pledge to support the growth of PCR testing over the next five years. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the inventors, manufacturers, distributors, and administrators of the COVID-19 vaccines for their expeditious work to help us overcome this disease,” Mattera said.
II-VI’s optical filters for life sciences and telecom exceed the spectral performance requirements demanded by these applications. II-VI’s optical filters leverage automated testing for high-volume manufacturing. They are also qualified for undersea communications, demonstrating their ultrahigh reliability.
VCSEL flood illuminator modules
II-VI has also announced the launch of new vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) flood illuminator modules for driver and occupancy monitoring systems in vehicles.
U.S. and European transportation safety regulators are increasingly recommending or requiring driver and occupancy monitoring systems in vehicles, spurring the demand for next-generation 2D and 3D infrared cameras designed with higher-performance infrared illuminators.
II-VI’s new VCSEL flood illuminator modules emit higher optical power and with a narrower spectral width than infrared LEDs currently used in existing driver monitoring systems, enabling substantial improvements in system performance.
The infrared light emitted from II-VI’s flood illuminator modules can be modulated to frequencies greater than 100 MHz, making them ideal for 3D time-of-flight cameras for driver and occupancy monitoring systems.
“Our new VCSEL flood illumination modules integrate VCSEL chips, photodiodes, and diffuser optics, achieving a greater level of vertical integration and value for our customers,” said Dr. Julie Eng, Sr. Vice President, Optoelectronic & RF Devices Business Unit.
“We leveraged our in-house 6-inch GaAs technology platform to successfully scale production of our VCSEL arrays for consumer electronics, and we look forward to ramping production of flood illumination modules for in-cabin sensing in automotive as the demand grows.”
The VCSELs achieve high power-conversion efficiency and are available with up to 2.5 W or 5 W of continuous power output. The flood illuminator modules are available in surface-mount packages integrated with diffuser optics with either a narrow (60° x 45°) or wide (110° x 85°) field of view. The modules are expected to be AEC-Q102 certified for automotive applications in the second quarter of calendar 2021.
II-VI will showcase its broad product line of lasers and optics for 3D sensing at the SPIE Photonics West Digital Forum, between March 6-11, 2021.