March 12, 2002--Fiberspace Inc. (www.fiberspace.net) has announced the Gridlocker, which it describes as the first tunable semiconductor laser that provides "exceptional wavelength accuracy and stability in a high reliability laser source." The company says the device provides the performance needed for long-haul DWDM systems, high spectral efficiency, and lower cost of ownership of high-capacity systems.
The ±250 MHz accuracy of the device enables the deployment of closer channel spacing (e.g., 25 GHz and 12.5 GHz) to increase transmission capacity while reducing the cost per bit of signal bandwidth. In such applications, the Gridlocker's 16-channel (3 nm) tuning reduces costs by cutting the number of spare line cards needed for backup. Gridlocker also enables remote provisioning in advanced network topologies by allowing installed lasers to be dynamically tuned to different wavelength channels.
The accuracy and stability features of the Gridlocker are based on the company's patented Optical Phase Locked Loop (OPLL) technology. The feedback loop incorporates a tuned Fabry-Perot etalon to provide a sharp optical frequency reference that maintains a high degree of absolute wavelength stability. OPLL stabilizes the laser frequency by utilizing FM techniques to derive a phase-dependent error signal that locks the laser frequency to the peak of the Fabry-Perot transmission.
The Gridlocker technology will be publicly demonstrated for the first time at the upcoming Optical Fiber Communications (OFC) Conference in Anaheim, CA, March 19-22, 2002, at booth number 2567. Engineering samples will be available in May 2002, and general availability is expected in the fourth quarter of 2002.