Southern Photonics launches optical modulation analyzer based on equivalent-time oscilloscopes

Southern Photonics IQScope optical modulation analyzer

Southern Photonics of New Zealand now offers a new alternative to current optical modulation analysis techniques. The company says its IQScope, when paired with equivalent-time sampling oscilloscopes, can perform optical complex modulation analysis over a wide range of modulation formats at data rates as high as 800 Gbps.

The use of equivalent-time oscilloscopes differs from the most commonly available approaches, which use either real-time sampling (in the case of offerings from Agilent and Tektronix) or optical sampling (as does EXFO) oscilloscopes. (It should be noted that Aragon Photonics offers a modulation analyzer based on stimulated Brillouin scattering; see “New approach aids advanced 40/100-Gbps modulation format characterization”). In emails sent to Lightwave, Iannick Monfils, the principal engineer behind the IQScope technology at Southern Photonics, wrote that the IQScope can offer a much lower-cost option compared to approaches based on real-time scopes, with lower noise than competitors using optical sampling scopes.

The IQScope software has been designed to run on such currently available equivalent-time oscilloscopes as the Agilent 86100C/D and the Tektronix DSA8300. (Southern Photonics is an authorized reseller of both scopes.) Monfils wrote that the company is currently working to include equivalent-time oscilloscopes from LeCroy in the fold.

“The ability to fully characterize the performance of 100G+ components and systems using commercially available sampling scopes provides a number of unique advantages,” Monfils was quoted as saying in a press release issued earlier this week. “For example, an oscilloscope with 60-GHz dual electrical sampling modules enables the characterization of 600-Gbps polarization-multiplexed 16-QAM optical transmitters, with a 15-bit A/D high-resolution sampler. This significantly exceeds the 5 to 6-bit resolution achieved by state-of-the-art real-time oscilloscope based measurements. Our approach also enables up to 2000 sample points per baud to be captured at this resolution – providing a detailed view of all the transitions between symbols. This capability provides R&D engineers with much deeper insight into how new devices and transmission formats operate at 100G and beyond.”

The IQScope supports a variety of measurements applicable to R&D analysis and production testing, including error vector magnitude (EVM), IQ phase error, RF gain imbalance and skew, and optical signal-to-noise ratio.

Southern Photonics first unveiled the IQScope at ECOC this past September. It is currently available for order.

For more information on lab/production test equipment and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyers Guide.
 

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