Picolight ships 4G 1310-nm VCSEL transceivers

December 8, 2005 Louisville, CO -- Picolight today introduced its 1310 nanometer (nm) vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) transceivers in a 4-Gbit/sec triple-rate (1-, 2- and 4-Gbit) Small Form Factor Pluggable (SFP) configuration. With extended reach capability and low power consumption, the company says the transceivers are designed for short-to-medium distance applications including 4-Gbit/sec Fibre Channel at 10 km for storage area networks (SANs).

December 8, 2005 Louisville, CO -- Picolight today announced that the company is the first to ship 1310 nanometer (nm) vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) transceivers in a 4-Gbit/sec triple-rate (1-, 2- and 4-Gbit) Small Form Factor Pluggable (SFP) configuration, designed to meet the needs of one of the data center market's fastest growing segments.

According to the company, with extended reach capability and low power consumption, the new transceivers satisfy a broad range of short-to-medium distance applications including 4-Gbit/sec Fibre Channel at 10 km for storage area networks (SANs). Similar to the company's 850-nm VCSEL transceivers, the company says the 1310-nm VCSEL transceivers have the potential to dominate short-to-medium distance single-mode fiber applications, displacing existing edge emitting laser transceivers in high-bandwidth and high-density optical systems.

"Today's announcement marks another milestone in Picolight's continued development and leadership of VCSEL technology, which delivers high-functional integration and high-speed data rates for the growing long-reach data center market," comments Steve Hane, Picolight's president and CEO. "We intend to leverage our 1310-nm VCSEL development efforts in multiple new markets and applications, including high-bandwidth and high-density optical platforms, providing significant design-impact benefits to our customers, while building on our early lead in the rapidly emerging market for better-performing, more power-efficient enterprise, storage area, and metro network interconnect technology."

"Compared to competing technologies, our 4-Gbit/sec SFP 1310-nm VCSELs deliver lower power consumption, lower electromagnetic interference (EMI), and lower heat generation, resulting in increased performance and reliability over singlemode fiber for our fiber channel systems customers," adds Vidya Sharma, Picolight's vice president of marketing. "Because of the high drive currents of edge-emitting lasers, module-level heat dissipation is becoming limiting for high-density, high-bandwidth systems. Next-generation high-density form factors will strongly favor exclusive use of VCSEL technology, due to its low heat and low EMI-generation characteristics."

According to a press release, pioneered in 1989 by Jack Jewell, Picolight's founder and CTO, VCSEL technology emits light vertically through the surface of a wafer-rather than through its edges, as with other edge-emitting Fabry-Perot (FP) and distributed feedback (DFB) lasers. The devices require very little electrical current to produce optical energy output of 850-nm and above, and they emit a narrow, circular beam that makes it easy to transmit the light into an optical fiber. VCSELs are also less expensive to manufacture, easier to test and more efficient to operate than other laser technologies.

"The low power consumption benefits of 1310 VCSEL technology make it an increasingly attractive solution for 4G Fibre Channel switches where heat dissipation is a serious and escalating concern," comments Jagdish Rebello, principal analyst with research firm iSuppli. "The availability of 1310 VCSEL transceivers from companies like Picolight proves the maturity of this long-anticipated technology, and is a major step toward ensuring data center connectivity to meet long-reach applications at or above 10 km."

The VCSEL-based 1310-nm transceivers utilize the company's short-reach 850-nm transceiver architecture, while achieving longer reach on singlemode fiber. The company says the 1310-nm VCSEL transceivers significantly reduce thermal and EMI emissions from those present in alternative transceivers, a critical capability for next-generation high-bandwidth, higher density platforms, including those 8-Gbit/sec and faster, according to the company.

According to the company, with a single transceiver architecture addressing multiple specifications at 4 km and 10 km and reaching up to 40 km, the 1310nm VCSEL transceivers feature an uncooled 1310-nm oxide-confined, high-speed VCSEL coupled to an LC optical connector, extended temperature and voltage range options, internal AC coupling on both transmit and receive data signals, and an all-metal housing for increased EMI shielding.

The company says it has ensured the reliability for its 1310-nm VCSEL family through the use of process and design controls, and validated the products with a comprehensive set of reliability tests. The company says it plans to extend its 1310-nm VCSEL product line from 4-Gbit/sec Fibre Channel applications to 10-Gigabit Ethernet applications at 10 km or more over singlemode fiber.

The 4G 1310-nm VCSEL transceiver is currently available for sampling, with general availability set for Q1 of 2006.

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