JDSU touts world's smallest tunable optical transmitter

JANUARY 22, 2008 -- The new TOSA brings full band tunability to pluggable small form factor XFP transceivers that previously only supported one to two wavelengths, says the company.

JANUARY 22, 2008 -- JDSU (search for JDSU) says it has created the world's smallest widely tunable transmitter optical subassembly (TOSA) for the DWDM transceiver market. The new TOSA represents a dramatic reduction in size and cost compared to previous discrete devices for tunable transmitters, say company representatives.

The new TOSA brings full band tunability--or the ability for service providers to change to any wavelength on demand--to pluggable small form factor (XFP) transceivers that previously only supported one to two wavelengths.

In addition, the new tunable TOSA will enable service providers to use pluggable small form factor products to support 50-GHz channel spacing in metro area networks, as traffic continues to grow in this area due to increased use of voice, video, and data applications among consumers. According to a recent report by analyst firm IDC, the fastest growth in optical networking is expected in the metro space over the next three years.

The TOSA houses JDSU's Integrated Laser Mach Zehnder (ILMZ) chip, which was announced in September 2007. The ILMZ is a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) that combines a tunable laser and optical modulator on a tiny chip for smaller, higher performance tunable devices, explain company representatives. JDSU produces the ILMZ using a semiconductor style of manufacturing that allows this functionally integrated optical device to be produced in high volumes more quickly and efficiently, resulting in lower costs.

"JDSU's new TOSA is the first of its kind and an exciting step forward for the transceiver industry," contends Alex Schoenfelder, vice president and general manager of Integrated Photonics at JDSU. "Our ability to leverage the expertise of JDSU's in-house datacom and telecom teams provided a competitive advantage when it came to packing the most innovation possible into a dramatically smaller assembly."

TOSAs reside within optical transceivers, the key interface to optical networks that convert electrical data to optical signals and back again as they travel through DWDM networks.

JDSU will offer transceiver products leveraging the new TOSA package to the market later this year.

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