October 4, 2002--Swiss firm BeamExpress says it has reached a milestone with the demonstration of fixed-wavelength array and widely tunable VCSELs.
BeamExpress says it has developed a unique, proprietary technology based on vertical cavity optics architecture, which makes it possible to manufacture efficient, wavelength-controlled VCSELs capable of emitting at 1550 nm and powerful enough to transmit over 80 km. The fixed wavelengths array and widely tunable VCSEL demonstrations point the way to using VCSELs to perform similar functions to the tunable lasers traditionally used in long-haul applications, but at a significantly lower cost, which makes them ideally suited for usage in metro applications.
Bandwidth9 has already embarked on a similar approach with its VCSEL-based tunable laser modules. However, it claims 100 km reach for its current product line and an upgrade to 400 km in a future product announced last month.
BeamExpress was founded in 2001 when it spun out of the EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne). Pan-European venture capital firm Index Ventures provided the first round of funding and has been actively involved in the development of the company. Jean-Claude Charlier joined BeamExpress as CEO in April of 2002. Currently, BeamExpress is developing several products due to enter the market by mid 2004. The firm will raise further capital later this year to provide additional resources for continued product development.