Pilot Photonics’ fast-switching, low-linewidth, widely tunable laser reaches availability

Feb. 2, 2023
The laser is based on a monolithic InP chip fabricated on an active-passive platform. It uses electro-optic tuning with reverse-voltage bias of tuning sections.

Pilot Photonics has announced the commercial availability of a widely tunable laser module that features nanosecond switching and narrow linewidth.

The laser is based on a monolithic InP chip fabricated on an active-passive platform. It uses electro-optic tuning with reverse-voltage bias of tuning sections, which Pilot Photonics says enables mA-order dark currents and facilitates nanosecond switching speeds with low power dissipation. The laser supports more than 30 nm of wavelength tuning range in either the C-Band or the O-Band and linewidth of 150 kHz, the company adds. The company can make the laser available in a 14-pin butterfly package or integrated into an OEM or laboratory instrument form-factor module.

Pilot Photonics says the device should be applicable to both optical communications and LIDAR applications. Dr. Frank Smyth, founder and CTO at Pilot Photonics, revealed via email that the company has a lead customer for the laser in the LIDAR space who helped develop the device. However, the company brought an early demo version to ECOC last September where it “generated a lot of interest,” leading to engagements with companies in the communications arena, Smyth added.

Based in Dublin, Ireland, Pilot Photonics’ primary research has focused on leveraging a patented comb laser technology based on research conducted at Tyndall National Institute and Dublin City University. The academic research was exclusively licensed to Pilot Photonics in 2014, and the company has worked to integrate the proprietary comb laser into photonic integrated circuits (PICs) that are fabricated by three European III-V foundries.

"We have been working with our partner SMART Photonics on a couple of innovative tunable laser designs made possible with their PIC platform," said Smyth via a company press release. "These devices target specific challenges that our customers are facing, and we are delighted to help solve them."

In addition to the new laser, the company says it also has a nano-iTLA module for high-volume applications in development.

For an early look at the company, see “Lumish new CEO and chairman of optical comb company Pilot Photonics.”

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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