Bookham intros ultra small 40G Mach Zehnder modulator chip

FEBRUARY 21, 2008 -- Bookham has developed an ultra small, 5-mm 40-Gbit/sec Optical Differential Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (ODQPSK) modulator chip, implemented through proprietary indium phosphide Mach Zehnder technology.

FEBRUARY 21, 2008 -- Bookham Inc. (search for Bookham) says it has developed and demonstrated an ultra small, 5-mm 40-Gbit/sec Optical Differential Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (ODQPSK) modulator chip, implemented through proprietary indium phosphide Mach Zehnder (InP MZ) technology.

Bookham says it will combine this functionality with its tunable laser in new products specifically designed for use in the growing 40-Gbit/sec market. The reduced size InP MZ platform will allow Bookham to offer 40-Gbit/sec products in smaller footprints compared to existing 40G offerings employing larger optics, say company representatives.

Bookham says its InP TL5000 Wideband Tunable iTLA has been proven for use in both 10- and 40-Gbit/sec systems. The company says it is now combining the tunable laser with 40-Gbit/sec MZ modulator chips from the company's UK 3-in wafer fab to demonstrate innovation in the 40G application space.

"The capability to offer high bit rate performance with our fully qualified, proven tunable laser and InP MZ modulator is crucial as vendors continue to evolve towards 40-Gbit/sec networks," contends product line manager Adam Price. "40-Gbit/sec roll out is still hampered by prohibitive pricing, as we see 40-Gbit/sec systems costing in excess of 10 times a 10-Gbit/sec system. With our vertically integrated InP core technology and strength in the 10-Gbit/sec market, we are able to drive significant disruption in order to enable 40-Gbit/sec systems to be adopted at a cost point that allows widespread adoption," he asserts.

"The InP MZ platform has the flexibility to implement a range of modulation schemes at 40 Gbits/sec, but it is our vision that ODQPSK, in which we have significant intellectual property, is the modulation format to allow the correct price positioning at 40 Gbits/sec and the scalability to 100 Gbits/sec," Price continues. "ODQPSK also allows 40 Gbits/sec to be deployed onto a 50-GHz grid and demonstrates higher resilience to polarization mode dispersion."

"We have a proven InP capability to allow parallel modulator chip architectures to be implemented for the 40-Gbit/sec approach and have produced an InP ODQPSK chip structure that is only 5-mm long," adds Price. Traditional LiNbO3 technology, which uses discrete modulators coupled together to form parallel structures, cannot compete with production simplicity and footprint size."

The LambdaFLEX range of tunable products will be on show next week at the Bookham booth (#1334) at OFC/NFOEC, and product line managers will be on hand to outline the Bookham roadmap to 40/100 Gbits/sec.

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