In Brief

Zurich-based GigaTera has demonstrated a single laser source generating over 32 wavelengths suitable for WDM transmission. The pulsed laser produces a multi-wavelength optical spectrum composed of frequencies that can be locked to the standard ITU grid. Previously, wavelengths have been generated by many separate, less stable lasers.

Passenger trials on the airline industry's first onboard broadband network on a commercial plane began in January with a Boeing 747-400 flight from Frankfurt to Washington. Operated by Deutsche Lufthansa, the flight offers passengers high-speed Internet access from their own seats. Connexion By Boeing allows two-way-live data between the plane and the ground, with speeds of 3Mbit/s downstream and 128kbit/s upstream, using Wi-Fi technology from Cisco.

UK-based Livingston has invested almost GBP1m in test and measurement equipment for the transmission industry. The investment concerns NIC Plus (Network Information Computer) boxes, from Digital Lightwave — testing platforms for global SONET/SDH, PDH, ATM and POS networks.

Researchers at the University of Wales, Bangor, have received a USD600,000 grant to investigate how optoelectronics can speed up telecoms networks. The award from the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council supports research in nanoscale and nonlinear optical design and measurement.

Infineon Technologies, Munich, is shipping its single-chip Titan 768MD to network equipment makers Titan is a multi-function IC in a 680-pin BGA package for 10-40Gbit/s line-cards that can perform both interface conversion and serialiser/deserialiser operations.

Elcan Optical Technologies, the precision optics division of Raytheon, has expanded its operations with the integration of the Raytheon Microelectronics facility in Malaga, Spain. Elcan Malaga is a modern 61,000 square foot electronics and assembly plant in Malaga's Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía.

The IEEE 802.3ah Task Force has reached new consensus on several key copper and optical network issues, progressing standardisation of Ethernet in the First Mile. An agreement was reached to adopt the G.SHDSL proposal as the copper specification for Ethernet in local-loop lengths up to 2.7km.

The 10Gbit Small Form-factor Pluggable (XFP) Module Group has announced that the XFP specification is available for final public review. The specification is intended to help speed development of multi-sourced, application-transparent modules. View the details at

Marconi has signed a new, five-year contract with communications operator NetCologne. The companies have agreed a second five-year contract for the supply of Marconi's Distributed Multiservice Platform technology and ServiceOn Access network management software.

RAD Data Communications will launch its new RIC-155 Intelligent Converter at CeBIT 2003. It enables simple connection of Fast Ethernet traffic over SDH/SONET STM-1/OC-3 circuits. The RIC-155 is said to be one-third the cost of ATM devices and costs less than an IP router running Fast Ethernet over STM-1.

British optoelectronics research and development groups Midlands Photonics Cluster and the UK Laser and Electro-Optics Association (UKLEO) have joined forces, integrating all members of the UKLEO into a single Photonics Cluster.

Avenue Solutions is a new UK-based company in the datacoms LAN and cabling market. It is aiming to become a leading player in the provision of fibre-optic Voice Data Image (VDI) connectivity. Based in Ashford, Kent, Avenue has been formed by Sydney Hogg, former managing director of the European arm of Computer Crafts Inc in a venture agreement with Schneider Electric.

Intense Photonics of High Blantyre, Scotland has expanded its capability with the addition of 1000 square feet (95 square metres) of cleanroom at its Scottish semiconductor fabrication facility. The new area provides additional optoelectronic life test, assembly and packaging development.

Amsterdam-based telecoms group KPN NV says that its cable operation Vision Networks NV has completed the sale of Vision Networks Tsjechie Holding BV to Betbari Holding, owner of TES Media. Approval for the transaction was obtained from the Czech Antimonopoly Office in January. KPN has completed the previously announced sale of its Belgian data unit to fellow Dutch telecoms firm Scarlet. KPN has also reached a basic agreement to sell its web unit Planet Internet Belgium to privately owned company Scarlet.

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