Bookham and Cierra to boost WDM product functionality

17 September 2002 -- Bookham Technology and Cierra Photonics have announced a two-part technology and commercial association to bring high integration-based functionality to WDM products such as optical add/drop multiplexers.

17 September 2002 At last week's ECOC 2002 event in Copenhagen, Denmark, the UK's Bookham Technology plc and Santa Rosa, CA-based Cierra Photonics announced a two-part technology and commercial association to bring the benefits of high integration-based functionality to WDM products such as optical add/drop multiplexers (OADMs).

The association, which runs initially for two years, allows both companies to exploit jointly the strengths of their respective and complementary optical-integration technologies to develop products and tailored solutions. Bookham is contributing its ASOC design and manufacturing technology for fabricating integrated optical circuits on a silicon substrate, together with its range of integrated GaAs and InP tunable lasers and modulators; Cierra Photonics is contributing its range of thin-film filters, based on its Advanced Energetic Deposition (AED) process for wafer-scale integration.

In the second part of the association, Bookham will exclusively distribute Cierra's complete range of optical channel filters in Europe, including the high-performance terra-Q and solla-Q families.

The terra-Q family supports narrow-band channel spacings at 100, 50 and 25GHz, with broad and flat passbands. It also has a low temperature coefficient in its transmission mode, making the devices relatively insensitive to changes in the laser spectrum or to the system's temperature. Other features are ITU and custom wavelengths, low-loss passband, accurate wavelength centring, high channel rejection and deep reflection stopband.

The solla-Q family comprises a variety of broad-passband filters that pass groups of multiple adjacent channels through the filter. These three-port devices form the basic building blocks for DWDM optical systems designed with a banded architecture. Features include steep rejection skirts to minimise the number of skipped channels, low insertion loss, and flat passband.

These products will complement Bookham's product lines based on its ASOC technology, a platform for the integration of complex optical functions onto a single, compact optical chip. Bookham has developed and manufactured products such as its integrated multiplexer and variable optical attenuator (Mux-VOA) modules, and three-function monolithic optical channel monitor with switched input.

The association sees the integration of Bookham's ASOC EVOA and of Cierra's solla-Q as combination for multiple applications including many OADM applications.

"The world WDM market has evolved in the last year and is moving towards a much smaller number of suppliers who can offer a wider range of products and product capabilities to systems vendors. Combining the strengths of Bookham's and Cierra's integrated technologies will enable us to address even more effectively the growing opportunity for OADM applications in the metro and access markets," says Bookham's chief commercial officer Steve Turley.

Cierra Photonics' CEO Glenn Yamamoto says "Not only can we more effectively serve our European customers with TFF-based components, but customers will benefit from having access to a broad set of world class active and passive network component solutions delivered by Bookham."

The association gives the flexibility of standard or customised integrated optical filters implemented by either Bookham's ASOC-based arrayed waveguide grating (AWG) technology or Cierra Photonics' AED thin-film technology. Bookham's ASOC AWGs are suited for high-channel-count applications as well as multi-function product applications, while discrete functions can be added by hybridisation. Cierra's AED's wafer-scale integration yields products with good insertion loss and channel separation.

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