16 January 2003 -- Zurich-based GigaTera says it has demonstrated a single laser source generating over 32 wavelengths suitable for WDM fibre-optic transmission.
GigaTera's compact pulsed laser produces a multi-wavelength optical spectrum composed of many highly stable individual optical frequencies that can be locked to the standard ITU grid. Currently, wavelengths are generated using separate lasers that take-up racks of equipment and require complex stabilisation.
"Network operators want to add capacity and flexibility in their metro and regional optical networks. Increasing the number of optical channels on a single fibre is one of the easiest ways to do this," says chief technology officer Kurt Weingarten. "However they are also currently under tremendous cost pressure and need to reduce the space and operating expense of WDM systems."
GigaTera's multi-wavelength platform technology fills a critical gap for cost-effective WDM transmission by providing the performance of a distributed feedback (DFB) laser but at approximately the cost per wavelength of a vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSEL).
By combining the MEMS-based dynamic gain equaliser of Silicon Light Machines' (a division of Cypress Semiconductor Corp, a strategic investor in GigaTera) with GigaTera's multi-wavelength laser, the companies have also demonstrated a highly reconfigurable as well as low-cost alternative for WDM transmission. "GigaTera's technology will enable what is currently done with racks of separate lasers to be condensed onto a single line-card," adds Weingarten.