Network Photonics' new switching technology eliminates OEO conversions

Sept. 13, 2001--Network Photonics' CrossWave technology enables the dynamic switching of DWDM wavelengths by integrating demultiplexing, switching and multiplexing into a single, purely photonic operation.

Network Photonics Inc., a Provider of wavelength switching systems, announced its CrossWave switching technology. Network Photonics' CrossWave technology enables the dynamic switching of DWDM wavelengths by integrating demultiplexing, switching and multiplexing into a single, purely photonic operation. This results in lower cost and space requirements by eliminating the need for external DWDM multiplexers and repeated OEO conversions.

The key to CrossWave's unique design lies in the tight integration of 1-dimensional (1-D) MEMS and a wavelength dispersive element. This powerful design results in a dramatic reduction in size, cost and power consumption compared to 2-D and 3-D MEMS optical cross-connect systems, while increasing system reliability and optical performance.

The CrossWave 1-D MEMS technology consists of a single, linear array of micromirrors and is highly scalable, requiring only one mirror to switch each wavelength. The wavelength dispersive element spatially separates wavelengths from input fibers and focuses them on the surface of a micromirror in the 1-D MEMS array where the switching occurs. The dispersive element then recombines the independently switched wavelengths into DWDM signals which in turn exit into the output fibers. The 1-D linear array of micromirrors is controlled with simple digital electronics. Each mirror is positioned accurately in one of several highly stable positions with switching times of less than a millisecond. With digital positioning, there are no complex servo systems necessary to ensure stable and repeatable positioning of the micromirrors. This results in low cost, low power, small package size and high reliability.

Developed in-house at Network Photonics, the company has over 30 patents pending on the technology.

Network Photonics will use its scalable CrossWave technology to build all-optical Wavelength Cross-Connects (WXCs) to address a number of applications in linear and ring networks as well as emerging mesh topologies. Across the applications, CrossWave allows equipment manufacturers and service providers to dynamically switch wavelengths at a fraction of today's cost.

Network Photonics currently has CrossWave systems available for customer and partner testing and will have general product availability in early 2002.

About Network Photonics Inc.:

Headquartered in Boulder, Colo., Network Photonics is developing wavelength switching systems. Its optical networking solutions are based on its patent-pending CrossWave technology, which enables high-performance DWDM networks without resorting to expensive optical-to-electronic-to-optical conversions. For more information, visit www.networkphotonics.com.

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