iolon, Inc. debuts a MEMS-based tunable external cavity laser

March 12, 2001
Mar. 12, 2001--iolon, Inc., a privately held optical networking component company, announced the availability of Apollo, a MEMS-based tunable external cavity laser (ECL).

iolon, Inc., a privately held optical networking component company, announced the availability of Apollo, a MEMS-based tunable external cavity laser (ECL). Designed to maximize the efficiency and flexibility of long haul, ultra long haul, and metro core networks, Apollo enables rapid and flexible bandwidth provisioning capabilities in transmission equipment for next generation optical networks. The iolon Apollo tunable laser is currently being sampled by major equipment vendors and will be generally available in the fourth quarter of 2001.

The iolon Apollo is a miniature external cavity laser that tunes using micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) actuators, micro optical components, and advanced servo controls. The MEMS actuator rotates a mirror to retroreflect back into the laser cavity a particular frequency of light that is diffracted off a high-pitch grating. The advanced servo systems provide continuous, instantaneous smart control to optimize the laser performance. The Apollo delivers 20mW output power and is continuously tunable across the entire C-Band. With narrow linewidth (< 2 MHz), high side mode suppression ratio (SMSR > 50dB), and low relative intensity noise (RIN less than -145dB/Hz), Apollo lasers have the spectral purity necessary for long haul, high bit rate applications. They also feature excellent wavelength accuracy (+/- 2.5 GHz) and power stability (+/- 0.25 dB), eliminating the need for additional equipment to maintain a clear, consistent signal.

Apollo lasers enable optical transmission systems that provide significant increases in network capacity, efficiency, and flexibility, allowing carriers to dynamically provision bandwidth without physical upgrades to the network. Provisioning that currently requires sending technicians to a field location to reconfigure or add equipment can now be accomplished remotely under software control, saving time and money while maximizing the high bandwidth capabilities of the optical network. Apollo's continuous tunability across the C-band and 50 GHz channel spacing allows carriers more transmission channels to expand services to their customers via existing network infrastructure - a key requirement for telecommunications companies seeking to upgrade their networks.

iolon's patented platform technology utilizes Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE) to produce the MEMS actuators. The DRIE process gives Apollo lasers uniquely rigid actuators - a key enabler for quickly and precisely moving best of class micro optical components using iolon's advanced servo control technology. This combination of technologies results in a powerful, accurate, and reliable laser source that expands the capabilities of optical networks.

About iolon, Inc.:

Headquartered in San Jose, CA, iolon, Inc., is a privately held optical networking component company. The company provides high performance tunable devices for advanced fiber optic networks. For more information, visit

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