NanoOpto announces VOA developed with SpectraSwitch, new product development partnership with Integrated Photonics

March 17, 2003--Component suppliers NanoOpto and SpectraSwitch have announced the availability for sampling of the Lambda Processor free space variable optical attenuator created under a joint development agreement. Separately, NanoOpto also announced today that it has entered into a joint product development agreement with Integrated Photonics.

March 17, 2003--Component suppliers NanoOpto and SpectraSwitch announced the availability for sampling of the Lambda Processor free space variable optical attenuator (FSVOA), created under a joint development agreement.

Separately, NanoOpto also announced today that it has entered into a joint product development agreement with Integrated Photonics. NanoOpto and Integrated Photonics are working on the integration of nano-optics and nano-manufacturing with Integrated Photonics' technology for the development and growth of high performance magneto-optic garnet Faraday rotator crystals.

NanoOpto and SpectraSwitch have integrated nano-optic and nano-manufacturing with liquid crystal technology to create a low-cost, compact form-factor FSVOA. The electronically controlled variable optical attenuator and shutter is designed for free-space integration into a broad range of optical components. The initial release of the Lambda Processor FSVOA supports either C-band, or C- and L-band wavelength ranges. It provides up to 35 dB of tunable attenuation, and has less than 0.4 dB of insertion loss in a device 1.4 millimeters in thickness. The device is designed to comply with Telcordia GR-468-CORE requirements for use in carrier-grade systems.

Initially targeted for transceivers, transponders and tunable lasers, the Lambda Processor FSVOA integrates broad range, fine resolution attenuation in a robust platform without the size, cost and complexity of existing solutions. Its benefits include its ability to be integrated into the transceiver rather than being an external and separate device. This integration creates savings in board space, packaging, power, and control complexity, allowing more economical application of transceivers in access and enterprise applications.

"This new Lambda Processor optical chip represents a paradigm shift in free-space optics, introducing small size and fine scale control in an easy-to-integrate package that competes favorably against traditional technologies and addresses the immediate needs of DWDM transceiver manufacturers," states Lindsay Austin, president and chief executive officer of SpectraSwitch (Santa Rosa, CA).

"This combination of two wafer-based manufacturing processes creates a flexible product platform that provides a path to dramatic cost reductions for dynamic optical components," says Barry Weinbaum, president and chief executive officer of NanoOpto(Somerset, NJ). "We are excited to be part of bringing this novel capability to commercial reality."

NanoOpto and SpectraSwitch will exhibit the Lambda Processor FSVOA at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition in Atlanta, on March 25-27.

Separately, NanoOpto and Integrated Photonics (Hillsborough, NJ), are working on the integration of nano-optics and nano-manufacturing with Integrated Photonics' technology for the development and growth of high performance magneto-optic garnet Faraday rotator crystals.

The two companies will develop a new family of integrated passive optical components based on nano-scale polarization structures and non-reciprocal passive optical Faraday rotators. Product applications will include a monolithic isolator.

The new integrated passive opticalcomponents will provide optical device designers with increased functionality, higher performance, greater component density, and improved optical efficiency while lowering manufacturing cost and decreasing inventory requirements. These devices are used in many sophisticated communication systems, such as optical point-to-point trunk systems, optical subscriber loop networks, optical cable television systems, and LAN systems.

According to RHK, a telecommunications market research firm based in South San Francisco, the compounded annual growth rate for the optical components requiring Faraday rotator/polarizer elements is forecast at 12% from 2003 through 2006, with total revenue reaching $167 million by 2006. Cost will be a driving force as the market moves toward fiber-to-the-home and metro and access network deployment.

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