Over the last 20 years, nearly 1 billion VCSELs have been shipped, the vast majority of them emitting at 850nm using GaAs active regions, and primarily used in data communications and optical tracking applications. Looking to the future, the ever increasing speed of data communications is driving the VCSEL to evolve with more complex active regions, optical mode control, and alternate wavelengths to meet the more stringent requirements. We will discuss the current state of VCSELs for 28Gbps, and higher speeds, focusing on evolution to more complex active regions and alternate wavelength approaches, particularly as the market evolves to more active optical cables. Other high volume applications for VCSELs are driving improvements in single mode and optical power characteristics. We will present several evolving market trends and applications, and the specific VCSEL requirements that are imposed. The ubiquitous 850nm, GaAs active region VCSEL is evolving in multiple ways, and will continue to be a viable optical source well in to the future.