Royal Philips Ramps Up Its Lighting Business. Yes, That Philips - Energy Watch News

Royal Philips Ramps Up Its Lighting Business. Yes, That Philips

When news broke recently that Philips Photonics will double the size of its vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) plant in Germany, it was a reminder that Royal Philips is still in the lighting business, despite having famously shed its LED, bulb, and luminaire operations to concentrate on medical and health gear. Like LEDs, VCSELs are light-emitting chips. They are gaining popularity in some of the digital applications where LEDs are also making headway. As such, the two technologies are competing against each other to some extent. Both, for instance, are positioned as infrared light sources that can provide facial recognition helping to protect access to smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets. VCSELs are picking up steam for such diverse uses as lidar guidance for driverless vehicles, medical imaging, fiberoptic data transmission, and more. And even if they are not outright competing against LEDs across the board, their laser light makes them useful in areas where ordinary LEDs are not. The general VCSEL market should hit $3.5 billion by 2023. That’s all from a company much better known for tomography and toothbrushes, but which clearly has a firm foothold in one of lighting’s promising futures — VCSELs — having ditched LEDs.

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