In Brief

New technologies, ranging from Fibre-To-The-Home, access systems, to the latest fibre cables, and tunable lasers to OADMs, will be demonstrated across 13 European countries in October by Pirelli Telecom Cables and Systems. The Pirelli "New Technologies Tour" will open its doors to invited customers in Milan on 30 September before embarking on a 35-day, 20-location tour including Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Rep. Belgium, Holland, Scandinavia, the UK, Ireland, France and Spain. Pirelli customers interested in attending should get in touch with their local account manager.


Consumption of fibre optic components in storage area networks and remote SANs, with transfer capability of 100Gbit/s and higher, fell to USD142m in 2001, down 22% from USD181m in 2000. So reports ElectroniCast's Storage Area Network Fiber Optic Interconnect study. On a more positive note the report adds that such consumption will now expand at an average 53% per year, reaching USD1.32bn by 2006.


JDS Uniphase has acquired the transceiver and transponder business unit of OptronX Inc. Incorporated in June 2000 and based in Allentown, PA, USA, OptronX offers 200- and 300-pin, MSA-compliant, low-cost, small-form-factor optical transport modules. About 30 staff, including engineering, sales and technical customer support personnel, will join JDS.

The acquisition extends an already close collaboration between the companies in optical component level integration and optical module design that has led to the introduction of uncooled 10Gbit/s very short reach (VSR) and short reach (SR) transponders.

The addition of 10Gbit/s technology extends JDS Uniphase's transmission module portfolio, which already includes all other reaches for telecoms, a XENPAK module for datacoms for 10Gbit/s data-rate applications, and a broad range of modules for applications at other data rates.


Grenoble-based Teem Photonics and Copenhagen-based NKT Integration A/S have announced a multi-source agreement to develop a four-port fully integrated gain block (sampling in Q1/2003). This consists of four separately controlled gain blocks in a 110x95x12mm3 module.

The agreement sets common product standards for form, fit and function in mechanical, optical and electrical interface parameters for integration into next-generation optical networks. This offers system integrators supply-line security from compatible erbium-doped waveguide amplifier (EDWA) manufacturers.


Alcatel Optronics says that "continuing recession and persistent inventories at the customers' level" could result in its Q3/2002 revenue declining up to 50% sequentially (to about EUR12m). Revenues in Q2/2001 had been almost EUR150m. "We want to reach as soon as possible a streamlined business model, with our Nozay (France) manufacturing facility focusing on active components, our Livingston (Scotland) plant on passives, and both units combining forces in a joint effort towards hybrids," said CEO Jean-Christophe Giroux. "From 1550 staff today, we expect to reach approximately 1000 before year-end, and ultimately below 500 by the end of 2003."


US core-switch maker Tellabs expects Q3/2002 sales to be down 15-25% on Q2's USD345m. It will therefore cut its workforce by about 800, including 400 in the US and 400 by closing a plant in Shannon, Ireland by end-2002. The Irish operation once employed nearly 800 people.

In 2001 Tellabs closed its plant in Drogheda, Ireland with the loss of 200 jobs. Tellabs has cut nearly 4000 jobs worldwide (over 40% of its staff) since mid-2001. By Q1/2003 quarterly operating expenses will be cut from USD165m to USD145m, contributing to expected annualised operating savings of USD80m in 2003.


Finland's Modulight has announced EUR0.8m 18- and 24-month Finnish government contracts for developing next-generation optical components.

Part of the funding comes from National Technology Agency of Finland (Tekes), which finances R&D projects of companies and universities in Finland. "Modulight excels in molecular beam epitaxy processing of high-end quality components," says Tekes programme manager Dr Knuuttila.

Modulight has also joined the 10 Gigabit Small Form Factor Pluggable (XFP) Multi Source Agreement Group as contributor, with an intention to support the work of the MSA Group by providing module manufacturers with a direct connection to the (sub)component supply chain.


Zarlink Semiconductor and Agilent Technologies have announced a multi-source agreement to create a "POP4" common standard for pluggable 4-channel parallel optic transceiver modules that offer an aggregate bandwidth of up to 10Gbit/s.

The companies say that the agreement promotes flexible and reliable system design by ensuring that customers have access to multiple, reliable sources for 4-channel transceivers used for high-bandwidth optical interconnections in next-generation switches, routers, and other networking equipment.


Japan's Furukawa unveiled its new FITEL Interconnectivity Division — a merger of its Fusion Splicer and MT Connector Groups. The division demonstrated its S176 Core-Aligning Fusion Splicers, which have a record 11s splice time, and two versions of a new Tabletop Thermal Stripper, which allows users to window strip on fibre and to reduce lengths of fibre needed for splicing.

FITEL also unveiled its full range of signal laser products, comprising tunable DFB lasers, 50GHz wavelength-locked lasers, and 10Gbit/s electro-absorption and modulated lasers. FITEL also launched its high-performance thin-film-based mux/demux and OADM modules, including steep-edge filters. Other products unveiled included athermal arrayed waveguide gratings, PMD compensators and tunable dispersion compensators.


Micro-electromechanical systems foundry MEMSCAP said it is sampling low-port count photonic switches and variable optical attenuators (VOAs) aimed at metro and access — the first products from its new high-volume wafer fab in Bernin, France. The 5900m2 EUR55m fab can process more than 4000 wafers per month.

MEMSCAP is exploring providing subsystem manufacturers with the MEMS switch engine alone. The VOA is available as a die or a fully packaged device, with or without electronics.


Sweden's Proximion Fiber Optics claims a record response time of <1ms for its WISTOM optical performance monitor (OPM), a 10-fold improvement.

WISTOM scans the whole C band in 0.1ms and now reports channel-specific problems within 1ms while providing high-speed performance monitoring in <0.4ms per channel, accurately measuring wavelength, power, and OSNR for the entire band.

WISTOM can be used for applications including protection switching, fast dynamic gain equalisation and long-term drift monitoring.


Agilent Technologies is developing a new family of AWGs for DWDM long-haul and metro networks based on CVD of glass on silicon. This is the result of 2001's acquisition of Italy's Silicon Micro Systems and its first passive components.

"Our silicon-based technology is a solid platform that will enable us to integrate more features, allowing for the cost-effective manufacture of complex devices such as reconfigurable OADMs," said Silicon Optics Operation manager Giosue Iseni.

Initial specifications call for 40 100GHz-spaced channels, supplied in both narrow Gaussian passband and wide flat-top passband versions.


Building on its Mics line of DWDM mux/demuxes, NetTest launched the bulk-grating-based Mics Platinum. Insertion loss is 2.5dB for the Gaussian option and 4.5dB for the FlatTop option. Insertion loss uniformity is 1dB for 16 channels and 1.5dB for 40 channels. Improved athermal design means that no temperature regulation is needed, reducing design and operational costs in large channel count systems, while giving reduced thickness and adapted package footprint.

Also, built on NetTest's multi-purpose bulk-optics platform and using liquid crystal technology, the new DynaMics Channel Equalizer enables accurate, remote and independent control of the amplitude of each network channel. NetTest also showed a prototype of the DynaMics R-OADM, a fully-integrated, reconfigurable optical add drop module, which combines MEMS technology.


Linear optical amplifiers developer Genoa demonstrated the first 160km, 4-channel link without regeneration, for coarse WDM using AllWave fibre from OFS and CWDM components from Finisar. Sweden's Transmode Systems also demonstrated its amplified CWDM system in Genoa's booth. "By using Genoa's LOA and our AllWave zero-water-peak fibre, the reach of CWDM systems nearly doubles," claims Santanu Das, OFS' director metro optical system engineering.

Genoa says its LOA is the first chip-based multi-channel optical amplifier. It has a gain of >10dB at 1500–1610nm, sufficient for four CWDM channels. EDFAs can only operate in the C (1530-1562nm) or L band (1570-1610nm), covering one or two channels at a time.


Bookham Technology and Cierra Photonics announced a two-phase technology and commercial association, initially for two years.

Bookham contributes its ASOC technology for fabricating integrated optical circuits on a silicon substrate, together with its range of integrated GaAs and InP tunable lasers and modulators; Cierra Photonics its range of thin-film filters, based on its Advanced Energetic Deposition process for wafer-scale integration, which complement Bookham's ASOC-based AWGs for high-channel-count applications.

In the second phase, Bookham will exclusively distribute Cierra's optical channel filters in Europe, including the terra-Q and solla-Q.

The association sees the integration of Bookham's ASOC EVOA and of Cierra's solla-Q as a combination for multiple applications including many OADM applications in the metro and access markets. Bookham's ASOC-based AWG technology or Cierra's thin-film technology.

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