17 July 2002 -- Southampton Photonics (SPI) today announced its intention to enter the L-band fibre amplifier market using its GTWave fibre to achieve what the company decribes as "radical cost savings" - typically 50% or better depending on the application, over existing L-band amplifier technology.
The move is in recognition of the growing importance and benefits of the L-Band spectrum in next-generation WDM (Wave Division Multiplexing) fibre networking equipment.
SPI believes that the L-band (1565-1605nm) is set to play an increasingly important role in upcoming WDM product releases where it offers a number of technical benefits over the C-band (1525-1565nm).
Its flatter gain profile means less costly electronics for gain correction, and, being further away from zero dispersion wavelength means more dispersion and therefore lower Four Wave Mixing.
Analyst company RHK has predicted that by 2003 the L-band will account for 14 percent of all gain modules (GMs). A limit to this penetration has been the cost of the amplifiers due to an increase in the required pump powers. SPI will use its patented GTWave specialty fibre to produce the L-band GMs.
GTWave uses a central doped-core signal fibre around which one pump fibre is entwined. It offers far better absorption of the pump source energy than other methods currently in use and is therefore capable of producing more efficient and higher power GMs.
SPI's new CEO, Dr David Parker said, "The industry is rapidly recognizing that L-band can offer the carriers many benefits for next-generation WDM systems and this is an excellent time for us to enter this market. Our GTWave technology can offer the carriers radical economics as well as pervasive powers and we fully intend to become a serious player in this space."
SPI will have samples of the amplifier available by Q4 2002 and general availability by Q1 2003.