VCSEL-based tunable laser promises high power

March 30, 2001
Mar. 30, 2001--While many companies may be struggling to achieve a 1300-nm vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL), at least one company says it has hurdled that goal and broken through to 1500 nm in a tunable, high-power device.

While many companies may be struggling to achieve a 1300-nm vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL), at least one company says it has hurdled that goal and broken through to 1500 nm in a tunable, high-power device.

Princeton Optronics, a pre-IPO company located in Princeton, NJ, claims its PowerSweep 2000 will provide more than 20 mW of power and 40-nm tuning across the C-band, scalable to 50 mW and 70 nm, respectively. The device uses a MEMS-based external-cavity design. According to Tim Hays, vice president of marketing at Princeton Optronics, the combination of power and 1500-nm wavelength derives from the use of a 980-nm VCSEL to pump a gain medium that Hays declined to identify. The use of VCSEL technology provides a 50-kHz line width and advantages in beam shape and heat dissipation, the latter via a proprietary heat sink design. The device also features stability of +/- 1 GHz.

The PowerSweep 2000 is manufactured in industry-standard packaging to be easily integrated and support automated assembly. The packaging includes an internal wavelength-locker.

Princeton Optronics unveiled the PowerSweep 2000 at OFC. The company also introduced its 12.5 Gb/s Receiver and 10.7 Gb/s Modulator Driver. Both of these latter products are currently sampling and will be in full manufacture by this June. For more information, visit www.princetonoptronics.com.

Other companies to watch in the VCSEL technology market include PicoLight (Boulder, CO.; www.picolight.com), Emcore Corp. (Somerset, NJ; www.emcore.com) and Cielo Communications Inc. (Broomfield, CO; www.cieloinc.com). However, only a few have claimed to enter the 1500-nm range: Princeton Optronics, Bandwidth9 (Fremont, CA; www.bandwidth9.com), and CoreTek, now part of Nortel (Ontario; www.nortel.com).

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