ABSTRACT: To a great extent, the current success of fiber optic systems has been made possible by the tremendous advances in the performance and
reliability of semiconductor lasers. Unfortunately, the procedures and methods for demonstrating and ensuring the quality and
reliability of lasers have not matured at the same rate. Virtually no industry standards exist for many aspects of laser quality and
reliability. Laser users have benefited from the rapid evolution of technology, but find laser manufacturers' reliability claims
almost impossible to unravel.
This Special Report (SR) is written as an introductory tutorial on the reliability of semiconductor laser diodes and modules. It is
specifically concerned with lasers used in telecommunications applications, but it is relevant for almost any application where
reliability is an important consideration. The SR reviews many design issues and describes possible failure modes of semiconductor
lasers and reliability assurance practices to avoid these problems, with the focus on screening and qualification practices. A method
for calculating predicted reliability from life tests is also presented.