Ignis and consortium partners report 'GigaWaM' success

MARCH 11, 2009 -- The European Union (EU) funded photonics project known as GigaWaM -- founded for cost-effective manufacturing of WDM-PON components -- is "experiencing major achievements from all its participants," according to the consortium.

MARCH 11, 2009 -- The European Union (EU) funded photonics project known as GigaWaM -- founded for cost-effective manufacturing of WDM-PON components -- is "experiencing major achievements from all its participants," according to the consortium.

The GigaWaM objective is to develop application specific optical components of WDM-PON broadband access networks. WDM-PON enables high-bandwidth services including HDTV, video-on-demand, and 1-Gbps bidirectional data access. The ultimate target is a system cost-per-subscriber below today's implementation of GPON, by developing new, low-cost components with a high level of integration and improved manufacturing processes. The project received a USD$3.8 million (EUR$3 million) grant from the European Commission.

Along with all its partners in the consortium, Ignis ASA (search Lightwave for Ignis) has successfully demonstrated the manufacturing of arrayed waveguide gratings (AWGs) with a 1.5% index. According to the partners, this is an important aspect of the GigaWaM cost reduction objective, as the AWG dimensions have a significant impact on cost-per-channel for the central office. Going to 1.5% index from 0.75% index effectively reduces the AWG area to 25% relative 0.75% index, and is consequently a cost reduction.

Ignis has also developed concepts for overcoming inherent temperature dependence of AWGs combined with power dissipation from the active components.

"We have successfully demonstrated manufacturing of AWGs at significant lower cost and we have overcome critical technical issues," says Magnus Breidne, CEO at Ignis Photonyx, subsidiary of Ignis ASA. "We have also developed an innovative technology for long-term product stability."


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