GigOptix tests polymer 40G Mach-Zehnder modulator with Tier 1 optical transponder manufacturers

May 31, 2011
GigOptix, Inc. (OTCBB:GGOX) says that it has crossed a pair of items off its “to do” list as it prepares the LX8401 40-Gbps Mach-Zehnder modulator for commercialization. First, “a number” of Tier 1 customers have validated the the fiber-optic component's performance in system-level tests. Second, the LX8401 has completed the High Temperature Operating Lifetime (HTOL) reliability assessment of Telcordia GR-468 without operating performance degradation.

GigOptix, Inc. (OTCBB:GGOX) says that it has crossed a pair of items off its “to do” list as it prepares the LX8401 40-Gbps Mach-Zehnder modulator for commercialization. First, “a number” of Tier 1 customers have validated the the fiber-optic component's performance in system-level tests. Second, the LX8401 has completed the High Temperature Operating Lifetime (HTOL) reliability assessment of Telcordia GR-468 without operating performance degradation.

The LX8401 40-Gbps modulator leverages GigOptix's proprietary Thin Film Polymer on Silicon (TFPS) technology. TFPS enables lower drive voltages and smaller size than standard Lithium Niobate (LiNbO3) modulators, the company asserts.

In fact, the system-level performance tests used working transponders to enable easier comparison to such LiNbO3 devices. The LX8401 modulator exhibited “excellent optical performance compared to the competing modulators,” GigOptix says while displaying the targeted smaller footprint and lower power consumption.

Prior to these tests, the LX8401 completed 2000 hours of HTOL testing – twice the time GigOptix trumpeted at OFC/NFOEC in March. The HTOL test is designed to simulate a 25-year timeframe, in which the LX8401 was exposed to high temperatures while modulating a 1550-nm laser and being driven by a high speed electrical RF signal. The modulator showed no degradation of performance within such parameters as insertion loss, drive voltage, extinction ratio, and bandwidth, GigOptix says.

GigOptix is conducting other reliability tests, and expects to complete full Telcordia reliability testing by the third quarter of 2011. The company also has released test data showing spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) and third order inter-modulation (IM3) performance of up to 108 dB SFDR as measured by Linear Photonics, LLC (see “GigOptix touts optical modulator performance for QAM applications”).

"These successful tests prove that the LX8401 modulator based on our proprietary TFPS technology demonstrates both reliable and competitive performance, and we are excited to have customer validation of our low power consumption, small footprint, and disruptive modulator technology,” said Dr. Raluca Dinu, GigOptix's vice president and general manager of GigOptix Bothell, where the TFPS technology has been developed. “We look forward to enabling further innovation and releasing more competitive products that leverage this technology in standalone and higher integration architectures."

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