TDK launches new optical components

March 16, 2001
Mar. 16, 2001--TDK Corporation announced it will launch new optical components including Planar Lightwave Circuits (PLC), adding to its existing product lineup of optical isolators and other devices, through a global development and production network.

TDK Corporation announced it will launch new optical components including Planar Lightwave Circuits (PLC), adding to its existing product lineup of optical isolators and other devices, through a global development and production network.

TDK has made the strategic decision to expand its optical communications business and to enter by early 2002 the PLC products market, of which wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) and dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) are the technology standards. Development and production activities, which have been conducted mainly in Japan until now, will be expanded globally. TDK has established an R&D base in the U.S.A. and a manufacturing base in China as the first steps in constructing a global development and production network. By utilizing the technology and manufacturing resources of each facility to their maximum potential, TDK hopes to develop original products, accelerate product commercialization, and increase cost competitiveness.

Optical communications, which make possible the transmission of large volumes of data, is expected to proliferate as the infrastructure for the broadband era. TDK has undertaken development of optical devices based on its materials technologies and has launched products that play important roles in optical communication systems including optical isolators.

The optical communications market is expected to undergo rapid growth as a result of the advances in multimedia environments and increasing demand for high-speed Internet access. In addition, as optical communications are required to transmit ever-greater volumes of data, new transmission formats such as WDM and DWDM are expanding, mainly in North America. In order to respond to these market developments, TDK is improving the performance of its optical products and expanding its product lineup.

TDK has developed the products listed below and will display them with other products at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibit 2001 to be held in Anaheim, California from March 19 to 21. (Booth #3638)

Ultra-wide-band isolator

This isolator achieves low insertion-loss over an ultra-wide range of wavelength, and is compatible with both C-band and L-band wavelengths. Optical communications generally uses two different wavelength bands (C-band and L-band). Each application to use the specific band currently requires an individual optical isolator that can cover only a narrow wavelength range. The new ultra-wide-band isolator has pass-through characteristics in a wide bandwidth and works the same on these two different wavelength bands. TDK technology allows for an extremely wide pass-through bandwidth -- for example, from 1200 nm to 1600 nm of wavelength. It also achieves high isolation of 40 dB or higher and low insertion loss of less than 1 dB.

Variable Optical Attenuator (Preliminary)

The optical attenuator utilizes electronic feedback for high-precision control of attenuation from several dB to 25dB. DWDM can be used to transmit numerous wavelengths at the same time, but large variations in the strengths of different signals can occur due to the usage conditions of each wavelength. As a result, when mechanical attenuators are used, there is a limit to miniaturization and response speed. TDK's new Variable Optical Attenuator utilizes magneto-optic effects to provide immediate feedback on the strength and weakness of different signals and controls the degree of attenuation with high precision. In addition, the response time is extremely fast at approximately 300 (mu)s, resulting in stable communications quality.

PLC splitter (Preliminary)

This splitter uses original thin-film technology to combine or split optical signals. TDK has been engaged in the design and manufacture of PLC products using its thin-film technology in Japan. TDK has now added an R&D center in the U.S.A. The new facility will conduct mainly development of wafer processes using photolithography, a process used for PLC products, and the production will be carried out in China. Using this global development and production network, TDK will launch the PLC splitter into this new market. TDK will follow with development and commercialization of a PLC coupler, as well as a circulator and switch that utilize garnet materials.

About TDK:

TDK Corporation (NYSE: TDK) is a global electronics company based in Japan. It was established in 1935 to commercialize "ferrite," a key material in electronics and magnetics. TDK's current product line includes ferrite materials, electronic components and ICs, wireless computer networking products, magnetic heads for HDD, digital recording hardware and advanced digital recording media. For more information, visit