-- Increases equipment density, decreases component inventory,
and significantly reduces equipment costs
17 September 2002 -- At ECOC 2002, Alcatel Optronics highlighted what it described as "hybrid technology" and its benefits.
Two complex optical functions, commonly used in line terminals or optical add drop multiplexing (OADM) nodes of WDM systems, are the targets of this first launch: a transparent variable optical combiner and an integrated amplified demultiplexer.
The functions result from the integration of planar passive and semi-conductor active technologies with micro-opto-electro-mechanical technology. Alcatel Optronics is now offering the telecom industry "revolutionary hybrid solutions", which it says are the key to reducing system costs.
An ever-increasing number of functions previously implanted into optical boards will now be integrated within highly compact hybrid modules. At ECOC, Alcatel Optronics showcased two new hybrid modules used in WDM transmission:
On the transmitter side, an 8-channel variable transparent optical combiner monitors and adjusts eight different, high bit-rate channels before ultimately combining them. This compact hybrid combiner integrates onto a silica on silicon platform 41 functions such as tap couplers, MOEM-based variable optical attenuators (VOAs), monitoring photodiodes and a passive combiner, offering transparency to wavelength and wavelength spacing.
On the receiver side, an advanced WDM integrated amplified demultiplexer allows the amplification and extraction of 8 channels at 10Gbit/s with 50GHz wavelength spacing. It combines an indium phosphide (InP) semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) chip with arrayed waveguide grating (AWG) on a single hybrid SiO2/Si platform, which gives rise to an ultra compact amplified demultiplexing function.
"These hybrid modules demonstrate and confirm our strategy in hybrid integration," explained Philippe Bregi, Chief Operating Officer of Alcatel Optronics. "New technologies provide the roadmap to cut costs. This directly impacts not only the component world, but more importantly, the system and operator domains. Hybrid modules are the gateway to effective cost/performance/density solutions for their networks of tomorrow."
Hybrid solutions complement Alcatel Optronics' current product offer, taking advantage of its vertical integration, from optical chip to highly integrated optical sub-systems. Tomorrow, standardized and integrated products for metro and long haul applications, such as 2.5 and 10Gbit/s optical interfaces, will benefit from this strategy of hybrid integration, the company believes.