Bookham debuts fully qualified tunable 300-pin SFF transponder

FEBRUARY 19, 2008 -- Now released to volume production, the TL9000 is being field-deployed by a tier 1 North American network provider, and Bookham says it expects to ship several hundreds of these devices during the first calendar quarter.

FEBRUARY 19, 2008 -- Bookham Inc. (search for Bookham), today announced what it claims is the industry's first fully Telcordia-qualified tunable small form factor transponder (TSFF).

A new zero-chirp variant of the LambdaFLEX TL9000 300-pin transponder will be demonstrated in the Bookham booth (#1334) next week at OFC/NFOEC in San Diego.

Bookham says the TSFF has passed more than 2,000 hours of rigorous testing, proving its reliability and performance in a footprint 58% smaller than previous generation tunable LFF (large form factor) transponder products. The 2.2- x 3-inch footprint enables network equipment manufacturers to increase port density, placing two SFF transponders on a card where only one LFF would fit. The Bookham TL9000 is a direct drop-in replacement for the LFF devices--meaning that customers can also leverage Bookham's already competitive pricing on existing cards using LFF, contend company representatives.

Now released to volume production, the TL9000 is being field-deployed by a tier 1 North American network provider, and Bookham says it expects to ship several hundreds of these devices during the first calendar quarter.

"With this product, Bookham is truly leading the industry," asserts Bookham executive vice president and telecoms general manager Adrian Meldrum. "We were first to market with this technology in early 2007, and we continue to stay ahead of our competition by announcing full qualification and major field deployments with a tier 1 customer."

"Our fully qualified optics, including receivers and transmitters, support products throughout our high-performance tunable portfolio," he continues. "This vertical integration model, combined with key facilities in the UK and China, enables us to scale manufacturing and control production costs to optimize our position as a market leader."

The universal nature of the product allows customization to individual specifications, say company representatives, while a standard but flexible platform design is used across all applications. This can reduce lead-time, decrease inventory costs, and allow production flexibility and cost optimization. The product can be configured with either a negatively chirped or zero chirp transmitter for both regional metro and long haul DWDM applications.

Responding to customer requirements, Bookham says it is also introducing new features to the configurable product platform. A variable optical attenuator (VOA) can be integrated into the co-planar receiver package within the transponder, extending the operating dynamic range of the Rx chain to powers greater than 8 dBm and easing network design constraints. An extended band transmitter with 100 50-GHz spaced ITU channels is also available, enabled by the Bookham DSDBR tunable laser chip.

The Bookham ultra-compact indium phosphide (InP) Mach Zehnder (MZ) transmitter is the key enabler for this SFF platform and offers what the company claims is leading edge performance for noise loaded environments, equal to larger sized rival technologies. Requiring a smaller voltage drive than other MZ modulator types, this technology also enables a best-in-class typical module power dissipation of just 7 W, note Bookham representatives. The TL9000 operates up to 11.3 Gbits/sec, is fully compliant with the 300-pin transponder Multi-Source Agreement (MSA), and is just 0.45-in tall, allowing room for airflow and heat-sinking to enable improved thermal management.

The 2,000 hours of reliability testing were necessary in order for Bookham to complete full qualification in accordance with Telcordia GR-468-CORE for integrated modules used in CO environments.

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