This paper reviews the recent advances made in monolithic GaAs based, directly modulated, 1.3micrometers VCSEL array technology. Such VCSEL arrays are poised to begin occupying a large telecommunications application space. We present data demonstrating 1.3 micrometers VCSELs having ~ 1mW optical power across a wide temperature range of 10 to 90 degree(s)C while operating with low voltages of less than 2.5V. The data includes performance on typical 8 and 12 element arrays at the die level as well in the module. We also present very encouraging preliminary reliability results.
High bit rate communication links are placing increasing demands on the performance and cost of semiconductor laser diodes. VCSELs are uniquely suited to meeting the requirements of 10 Gb/s and higher applications. The laser requirements include high temperature operation, high bandwidth, high reliability, short rise and fall times, low RIN, low jitter, low RMS linewidth, and drive circuit compatibility. We will discuss the major challenges to achieving these goals as well as approaches that have been successful to date.