Helix enters single-channel TIA and VCSEL driver markets

August 24th, 2004 Zurich, Switzerland--Helix AG, a manufacturer of optical receiver transmitter array products used in parallel optical link transceivers, unveils single-channel devices for the optical transceiver market.

August 24th, 2004 Zurich, Switzerland--Helix AG, a manufacturer of optical receiver transmitter array products used in parallel optical link transceivers, unveils single-channel devices for the optical transceiver market. These devices cover 4X Fibre Channel and IEEE 802.3ae 10 Gigabit Ethernet. The devices are targeted at optical sub-assembly manufacturers using advanced packages and TO46.

The HXR3401 is a transimpedance amplifier (TIA) used in the emerging 4X Fibre Channel market. Receiver sensitivity of better than -20 dBm at 850 nm can be achieved. The device is compact and can be used in cost-effective TO-can. Power consumption is less than 100 mW typically. No external components are required other than supply filtering. An RSSI output is available for active alignment support.

"The single-channel device market is a natural extension of our existing array-based products that have been designed into leading edge telecom equipment manufacturer switches. Our single-channel design uses very few external components compared to other vendors. This directly leverages array-based designs which are only feasible with few external components," said Joerg Wieland, president of Helix.

Raymond Cheung, vice president of Acasia Technologies Ltd, a subsidiary of SAE Magnetics Ltd, has evaluated the HXR3401 in 4-Gbit/sec Fibre Channel applications. "The HXR3401 is one of the best performing devices among the very few available supplies in the market to date, and we are very pleased that Helix has brought this product to market at the right time in such a competitive manner."

The HXR3101 and HXT3101 make up the chipset used for 10-Gbit/sec optical transmissions. The transmitter is used with flip chip assembly techniques to enable OSA with a pure digital input. The driver can drive up to 8 mA average current and 8 mA modulation current. With a photodetector, closed-loop optical power control is provided in an extremely compact device. The HXR3101 is closely related to the HXR3401. It has been optimized for 10-Gbit/sec performance and -17 dBm at 850 nm has been achieved.

With the introduction of these three devices, Helix has simultaneously announced the expansion of their sales channels by bringing on Litrax Technology Co. of Taiwan and is in the process of building more channels in Asia. This is in addition to Hikari Trading that has been serving the Japanese market for the last four years.

"We are seeing that most of the opportunities in the mass manufactured fiber-optics business migrating to the East. To capture this growth opportunity, we are developing the relationships to address this," said Alex Ngi, product manager for Helix. With the combination of channels, time to market and high quality products, Helix expects to capture market share with its designs.

The evaluation kit is available for $300 for all devices. Customers are sampling the HXR3401 and pricing is at approximately 20% above existing 2X Fibre Channel products. The HXR3401 sells at $2.25 at 100,000 units through the end of the year. The HXR3101 and HXT3101 are priced at $51 for the pair in volume.

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