Bookham Technology launches products for VSR, metro and long-haul markets, plus single-fibre transceiver products

July 19, 2001--Bookham Technology plc launched new products designed for use in the metro and long-haul dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) markets. The company also announced the first in a series of 10Gb/s products.

Jul 19th, 2001

Bookham Technology plc (LSE: BHM; NASDAQ: BKHM) launched new products designed for use in the metro and long-haul dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) markets. Utilizing highly-efficient free carrier injection technology, the 1-channel and 8-channel Electronic Variable Optical Attenuator (EVOA) combine a market leading response speed of over 2MHz with a very high dynamic range of up to 45dB of attenuation.

The speed advantage of the 1-channel EVOA opens new application areas, such as switching and transient suppression, not available to low speed 1-channel VOAs. Transient suppression can cause significant problems for vendors of metro OADM systems. The high response speed of the 1-channel EVOA enables regulation of the power spikes generated as channels are added and dropped from the system, eliminating the need for complicated multi-pump control.

The combination of high attenuation and fast response speed allows the products to be used as "blocking" components in protection-switching applications, for increased network reliability. Their fast response also enables analog signal modulation over a digital data stream, without causing distortion within the erbium doped fibre amplifiers (EDFA) gain profile.

These two new products extend the BKM 520x6 family that started with the 4-channel EVOA, creating a comprehensive EVOA product line that enhances the modularity available to DWDM vendors. All products utilize extremely small form factor packages and offer low power consumption of 150mW per channel.

The EVOA devices are manufactured using ASOC technology, which uses high-volume production methods to build reliable integrated optical devices. ASOC EVOAs use solid-state attenuation and as a result are more reliable than competing components that use moving parts. Volume production quantities are available now.

The company also announced the first in a series of 10Gb/s products. The initial product is an ASOC based compact 10Gb/s mini-FLAT receiver for metro and very short reach (VSR) applications.

The product has been designed to be easily integrated into SONET/SDH systems at OC-192 or STM-64 data rates. To allow the use of high-speed co-planar electrical waveguides, the product has been designed in a mini-FLAT package with surface-mounting connections. This helps to reduce the cost of assembly into customers' systems.

The new mini-FLAT receiver includes a high-speed InGaAs PIN photodiode and an internal transimpedance amplifier with differential outputs, providing improved noise performance and higher sensitivity. This configuration reduces the number of components needed when interfacing with limiting amplifiers and clock and data recovery (CDR) circuitry and therefore offers further systems cost and space savings.

The product has external photodiode bias connection, to allow additional functionality, such as the implementation of a receive average power monitor function. The receiver requires a single 5V supply voltage. This further simplifies system board configuration, which is aimed at total solution cost reduction.

The initial product will offer a typical sensitivity of -13dBm, making it suitable for 600 meter VSR connections. A next generation product, aimed at short-haul and intermediate-reach SONET/SDH requirements, will be introduced later in the year.

The product, housed in an uncooled 8-pin mini-FLAT package with a single-mode fiber pigtail, is already sampling to selected customers. Because the receiver is based on a fully Telcordia qualified product already in volume production, the 2.5Gb/s mini-DIL receiver, Bookham Technology will be in a position to introduce high-volume production in the fourth quarter 2001.

Bookham also introduced new single-fibre transceiver products for Japanese media converter applications and Pacific Rim optical communications designers.

The new single-fibre transceiver products for Japanese media converter applications have been designed to offer additional performance in bi-directional systems carrying 10Mb/s and 100Mb/s encoded Ethernet over a single fibre. They are also suitable for bi-directional SDH STM-1 and SONET OC-3 applications carrying 155Mb/s data.

The new products offer two alternatives for customers. The single-fibre transceiver components include a low threshold current Fabry-Perot laser with monitor photodiode. The receiver photodiode is connected internally to a low-noise transimpedance amplifier that features automatic gain control and differential outputs. For customers wanting to reduce their board development time, single-fibre 1x9 transceiver modules are available. These include a dual-loop control laser driver and low-pass filter with limiting amplifier.

The new single-fibre transceiver range for the Pacific Rim optical communications market offers transmitter output power and receiver sensitivity performance exceeding specifications for SONET and SDH bi-directional operation.

The new products will enable optical communication OEMs, designing systems in the Pacific Rim, to sell solutions that exceed recognized performance requirements domestically and on the international market. Products in the range include a single-fibre transceiver and a 1x9 transceiver module. Both have been designed for 155Mb/s operation in SONET intermediate-reach OC-3, IR-1 and IR-2 and SDH short-haul S-1.1 and S-1.2 applications.

Single-fibre bi-directional implementation brings significant cost reductions to the network operator and user. In a service area where the number of available fibres is running low, upgrading to bi-directional operation adds immediate bandwidth and cost savings. By using these products, the basic specifications for output power and sensitivity will not need to be renegotiated with the network operator. When additional equipment is demanded for back-up connections, these products allow a second line to be installed using just one fibre. This is important to users where leased line costs are critical.

The single-fibre transceiver products join a range of transceivers manufactured using ASOC technology, which uses high-volume production methods to build reliable integrated optical components in silicon. Sample quantities are available now, with volume production expected in the fourth quarter 2001.

About Bookham Technology:

Bookham Technology designs, manufactures and markets components that integrate optical processing functions on a single silicon chip using high volume production methods. For more information, visit www.bookham.com.

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