Nortel Networks ships MEMS-based tunable laser

March 22, 2001
Mar. 21, 2001--Nortel Networks has shipped for system trials what the company claims to be the industry's first MEMS-based tunable lasers for 40 Gbps systems.

Nortel Networks (NYSE:NT) (TSE:NT.) has shipped for system trials what the company claims to be the industry's first MEMS-based tunable lasers for 40 Gbps systems.

Nortel Networks MEMS-based tunable laser broadens its portfolio of wavelength agile components and modules, joining Nortel Networks LCW5 high-power, continuous wave (CW) laser. The MEMS-based tunable laser is scheduled for general availability in the fourth quarter of this year. LCW5 is now generally available for large volume deployments.

Tunable lasers are expected to be deployed initially to alleviate costly inventory management associated with fixed lasers in optical systems. Ultimately, they are intended to help position service providers for evolution to more advanced network architectures.

Nortel Networks� tunable laser technology is designed to support build out of intelligent, next generation optical networks to address future, customer-centric applications. Tunable lasers are expected to enable service providers to isolate, route and manage individual wavelengths, allowing them to serve customer specific traffic in line with demand.

Based on patent-pending MEMS (micro electro-mechanical system) technology, the tunable laser employs two microscopic mirrors -- one a curved mirror that is deposited on a tiny, precision membrane. As the membrane is driven up and down by a change in electrostatic force, the distance between it and the laser cavity's lower mirror changes, selecting a wavelength. Precise control of this process allows continuous tuning to any wavelength in the C or L band. The MEMS-based tunable laser has successfully completed critical parametric testing for 40 Gbps transmission and exceeded design criteria for 40 Gbps optical transport equipment.

The robust LCW5 temperature tuned laser illustrates Nortel Networks expertise in volume manufacturing. The 20-channel CW laser features an integrated wavelength locker and reduced footprint that eliminates fiber handling and further component qualification and procurement. The laser is controlled remotely and can be automatically adjusted to one of 20 DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) channels in a predetermined section of either the C or L DWDM bands. Testing has shown it to be suitable for DWDM applications ranging from 2.5 to 40 Gbps when used in conjunction with an external modulator.

Nortel Networks demonstrated its optical component and module solutions at Optical Fiber Conference 2001, March 19-21 in Anaheim, Calif.

About Nortel Networks:

Nortel Networks High-Performance Optical Component Solutions business is a large and quickly growing optical component and module business. The business is a designer, developer and manufacturer of high-value modules for the Optical Internet, including those for 10 and 40 gigabits per second systems. Nortel Networks is a global Internet and communications provider with capabilities spanning Optical, Wireless, Local, Personal Internet and eBusiness. The Company serves carrier, service provider and enterprise customers globally. For more information, visit

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