Vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) have been the subject of substantial interest recently because of their potential for a variety of optical signal processing and optical interconnect applications. Much emphasis has been placed on novel methods of fabrication1,2 and on improving important, individual-device characteristics.1–4 Here we focus on a key issue for all applications involving these lasers: providing for addressing each laser in an N × N array. We describe three schemes and their experimental embodiment in a VCSEL chip: independent addressing, matrix addressing, and optical addressing. The particular kind of addressing appropriate for a given application depends on a number of factors, including the number and density of lasers required, the requirement for one or many lasers to operate at any given time, and whether the laser chip is receiving optical or electronic information.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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