Alcatel Optronics, Hitachi Cable, and NEL sign MSA for AWG-VOA module with embedded electronics

March 19, 2003--Alcatel Optronics, Hitachi Cable, and NEL today announced a Multi-Source Agreement standardizing modules that integrate one Arrayed Waveguide Grating (AWG), multiplexer or demultiplexer, with Variable Optical Attenuators (VOAs), tap detectors and embedded electronics, offering VOA functions with optional signal and power monitoring.

Mar 19th, 2003

March 19, 2003--Alcatel Optronics, Hitachi Cable, and NEL, three companies in the planar passive domain, today announced a Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) for AWG-VOA modules with remote control.

The modules will provide multiplexing and demultiplexing functions for DWDM optical equipment accommodating up to 40 channels. The standardized modules will integrate one arrayed waveguide grating (AWG), multiplexer or demultiplexer, with variable optical attenuators (VOAs), tap detectors and embedded electronics, offering VOA functions with optional signal and power monitoring. The new common specification ensures that network equipment manufacturers have a choice among compatible sources, while the suppliers are able to reduce AWG-VOA lead-times, footprint, and cost.

Through this new agreement, for the first time, integration of passive and active devices enters the domain of standardization--until now reserved for separate functions. The agreement defines common mechanical features, electrical interface and control electronics for the AWG-VOA modules. More specifically, it defines the package size (220 x 135 x 31mm3) and outlines for modules capable of handling up to 40 channels. Each module communicates to the system via an industry standard I2C interface bus. This allows monitoring and adjustment of key parameters such as mode of operation, attenuation setting, and power output without on-site intervention. The optical performance--including insertion-loss, cross-talk, etc.--is up to each MSA member, who will independently develop and market compatible AWG-VOA products.

"In today's environment where cost, size and power consumption reduction are critical to our customers, hybridization is the right solution," explains Philippe Bregi, chief operating officer of Alcatel Optronics.

"The integrated subs system like AWG-VOA is one of the products that our customers long for," adds Dr. Nakahara, senior managing director of NEL, and executive director of photonics business groups. "It must bring many pros for equipment manufacturers; it saves in-house cost of assembling discrete components, makes WDM equipment compact, and reduces system design cycle time needed for version-up."

The AWG-VOA MSA group is an open forum, welcoming applications from capable manufactures that wish to join. For more information on detailed technical specifications or joining the MSA, please contact the following MSA representatives:

Mark Hasketh, Alcatel Optronics, at mark.hesketh@alcatel.co.uk
Susumu Himi, Hitachi Cable, at himi.susumu@hitachi-cable.co.jp
Akira Himeno, NEL, at himeno@photo.nel.co.jp


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