Zarlink intros 4-channel fiber-optic transceiver

2 July 2003 Jarfalla, Sweden Lightwave -- Zarlink Semiconductor today introduced a 4-channel pluggable fiber-optic transceiver that offers what the company claims is best-in-class performance and reliability. Zarlink's 60301 transceiver module achieves a 25% reduction in power consumption over industry specifications for 4-channel fiber-optic transceivers, say company representatives.

2 July 2003 Jarfalla, Sweden Lightwave -- Zarlink Semiconductor today strengthened its portfolio of parallel fiber-optic modules with the launch of a 4-channel pluggable fiber-optic transceiver that offers what the company claims is best-in-class performance and reliability. Zarlink's 60301 transceiver module achieves a 25% reduction in power consumption over industry specifications for 4-channel fiber-optic transceivers, say company representatives. By consuming less power, the transceiver generates and dissipates less heat, which increases the reliability of the component and the overall system.

Designed for very-short reach (VSR) applications, the ZL60301 transceiver offers networking equipment vendors scaleable, high-throughput interconnections of up to 300 meters within and between the racks, shelves, and boards of optical networking equipment utilized in central offices or large enterprises. Optical transceivers both send and receive data over fiber while efficiently converting the data between the electronic and optical domains. The ZL60301 module combines four separate transmit and receive channels and connects to a 12-channel multimode ribbon fiber. The transceiver handles data at rates up to 2.7 Gbits/sec per channel, for an aggregate capacity of 10.8 Gbits/sec in each direction.

"Our new 4-channel transceiver module exceeds the industry's already stringent requirements for power dissipation," contends Ulf Sundstrom, director, Optical Products, Zarlink Semiconductor. "This performance means increased system reliability for our customers."

The ZL60301 transceiver employs Zarlink's 850-nm oxide vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) technology in its transmit side. A laser driver and four-device VCSEL array converts electrical input signals into parallel optical outputs with wavelengths of 850 nm. The receive portion of the module uses a four-PIN (p-type, intrinsic, n-type) photodiode array and amplifiers to convert parallel optical input signals into electrical outputs. The reliability of the VCSEL array, combined with best-in-class power dissipation and temperature handling, gives the ZL60301 module a life span well above15 years, claims the company.

The 4-channel ZL60301 transceiver also conforms to all specifications of the Pluggable Optics 4-channel (POP4) multi-source agreement (MSA). This MSA, announced by Zarlink and Agilent Technologies in September 2002, promotes a common standard for pluggable 4-channel parallel optic transceiver modules that offer an aggregate bandwidth of up to 10 Gbis/sec. The POP4 MSA specifies footprint, packaging density, electronic and optical interface, as well as general performance characteristics for 4-channel parallel optic transceivers.

The ZL60301 module will be in volume production this August. Evaluation boards are available now. The transceiver is packaged in a 100-pin pluggable MegArray ball grid array (BGA) connector and costs $480 each in quantities of 100. Versions of the module are offered with electromagnetic interference (EMI) shields and external heat sinks.

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