AUGUST 10, 2009 -- Fabless electronics manufacturer GigOptix Inc. (search Lightwave for GigOptix) has released samples of the LX8400, its 40-Gigabit (40G) dual phase-shift keying (DPSK) Mach-Zehnder modulator, using its proprietary electro-optical (EO) polymer technology and manufactured at a qualified telecom contract manufacturer.
GigOptix says its LX8400 is the first EO polymer Mach-Zehnder modulator that has been designed with volume manufacturing in mind. The device targets the telecom market's 40G ultralong-haul segment; the company claims it "competes favorably" with existing technologies such as lithium niobate, in terms of performance. Ovum's (search Lightwave for Ovum) most recent Optical Component Forecast reports that 40G modulators will be the fastest-growing segment of the telecom modulator market, growing at a 42% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from $13 million in 2009 to $105 million in 2014.
GigOptix touts its EO polymer technology as offering simpler manufacturing, larger bandwidth, smaller form factor, lower weight, lower drive voltages, and immunity to radiation, which is important for defense and aerospace markets. The manufacturer also has carried out full thermal stability and FIT characterization of the product and is now in the process of reducing device cost.
Key features of the LX8400 include:
- package length of 56 mm excluding fiber boots
- overall length with fiber boots 30% shorter than equivalent devices
- insertion loss less than 6.5 dB
- bandwidth greater than 32 GHz
- Vpi less than 4.0 Vpp
- extinction ratio of 20 dB
"We are delighted to release this first generation of mass-producible electro-optic polymer modulators to customers," says Raluca Dinu, vice president and general manager of GigOptix-Bothell business unit. "We now have the product that will enable our customers to validate the operation of electro-optical polymer modulators in telecom systems and we plan to move towards mass production in 2010."
"This is just the first part that we are readying for the telecom market. The small form factor of the LX8400 will enable our customers to create very compact 300-pin transponder designs. We are working on a number of other devices to ensure we offer a continually improving portfolio to our telecom customer base," comments Padraig O'Mathuna, director of product mrketing for GigOptix. "In addition to the 40G telecommunications segment, which is ramping up now, we see exciting new opportunities for this technology in other markets such as RF photonics used in radar and wireless systems."
LX8400 engineering samples are available immediately.