Fiber-optic industry goes all out for OFC

The Optical Fiber Communications (OFC) Conference is in full swing at the Baltimore Convention center. Here's a rundown of news and announcements from exhibitors including Alcoa Fujikura Ltd., Anadigics, Astral Point Communications, AT&T Labs, Bookham Technology, CorningLasertron, E-TEK Dynamics Inc., Fujitsu Network Communications, Hitachi Telecom Inc., JDS Uniphase Corp., LaserComm Inc., LighTrade Inc., Lucent Technologies, Nortel Networks, Siemens, and Tektronix Inc.

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Photo: Avanex Corp. technicians put the final touches on the company's photonics processor demonstrations at OFC.

The Optical Fiber Communications (OFC) Conference is in full swing at the Baltimore Convention center. Here's a rundown of news and announcements from exhibitors including Alcoa Fujikura Ltd., Anadigics, Astral Point Communications, AT&T Labs, Bookham Technology, CorningLasertron, E-TEK Dynamics Inc., Fujitsu Network Communications, Hitachi Telecom Inc., JDS Uniphase Corp., LaserComm Inc., LighTrade Inc., Lucent Technologies, Nortel Networks, Siemens, and Tektronix Inc.

Fiber-optic cable supplier Alcoa Fujikura Ltd. (AFL) announced plans to offer cable products incorporating the newly introduced Corning MetroCor optical fiber. MetroCor fiber complements AFL cable products, especially its Mini-Span ADSS (all-dielectric self-supporting) product family, which is designed for network development of metropolitan area networks. AFL specializes in aerial cable systems that include optical ground wire and ADSS cable and hardware product families.

Anadigics is expanding its portfolio of fiber-optic integrated datacom products with the introduction of what the company calls the world's first 2.5-Gbit/sec integrated detector and pre-amplifiers. The AMT8300T46F/L and AMT8400T46F/L receivers operate from a single 3-volt supply and provide high-speed data handling for 800-nm and 1300-nm fiber applications. The new devices enable small form factor transceivers for high-speed 2X Fibre Channel and emerging 2.5-Gbit/sec Infiniband fiber-optic networks.

Astral Point Communications announced its first product, the ON 5000 Optical Services Node. ON 5000 uses the company's "Self-Healing Mesh" algorithm, which enables SONET-quality protection and restoration capability in metropolitan-area mesh networks. Advanced TelCom Group Inc., an integrated communications provider, has signed a beta test agreement to test the ON 5000 within its networks. Subject to the successful completion of the beta tests, Advanced TelCom plans to sign a master purchase agreement for up to $25 million in purchases of the node.

AT&T Labs and LaserComm Inc. announced LaserComm's proprietary Hi-Mode Dispersion Management Device (DMD). Using the device, the two companies were able to achieve 40 nm-wide wavelength-division multiplexing transmission of broadband 40-Gbit/sec signals over a distance of 240 km. The Hi-Mode DMD uses dispersion compensation capable of correcting all wavelengths of light simultaneously with minimal loss and without exciting nonlinear effects. The DMD's performance has been validated in AT&T's advanced broadband testing system. In the experiment, eight laser sources from 1525 nm to 1565 nm, each modulated at 40 Gbits/sec, were simultaneously transmitted through 240 km of non-zero dispersion-shifted fiber comprising three equal segments with in-line optical amplifiers. The Hi Mode DMD simultaneously compensated the different dispersions of all eight wavelengths for each segment.

Bookham Technology and E-TEK Dynamics Inc. are demonstrating an arrayed waveguide grating (AWG) dense wavelength-division multiplexer (DWDM) component. The pre-production 100-GHz, 40-channel product is part of a multi-year agreement between the two companies for the design, manufacture, and distribution of AWG DWDMs for long-haul, metro and cable-TV applications. In addition to packaging, testing and qualification, E-TEK is principally responsible for distribution of the products worldwide. Bookham also announced a silicon-based multi-channel electronic variable optical attenuator. The device is manufactured using the company's ASOC silicon technology. Operating over the 1300-nm to 1610-nm wavelength range, the device has attenuation of 30 dB, allowing it to "block" or "turn off" specific channels for system configuration or applications such as add-drop multiplexing.

CorningLasertron announced several products, including laser modules and receivers. New high-power 980-nm pump laser modules produce optical power to 300 mW for dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM). A second-generation line of directly modulated distributed feedback transmission laser modules is designed for high-speed metropolitan and access DWDM systems. In addition, samples are available of the QR-192 10-Gbit/sec receiver for short-reach applications.

Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. and Siemens Information and Communication Networks Inc. announced successful tests on the interoperability of Fujitsu's FLASH-192 advanced OC-192 add/drop multiplexer and Siemens' TransXpress Infinity long-haul dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) networking platform. In the tests, Fujitsu's 10-Gbit/sec SONET terminals and Siemens' DWDM platform demonstrated that error-free transmission with sufficient system margin can be achieved on six 90-km spans of non-zero dispersion-shifted fiber, with 29-dB loss per span, without the need to modify the respective engineering rules for dispersion management.

Hitachi Telecom Inc. announced that its AMN 5192 SONET equipment has been deployed in a New York City metro ring by Global Crossing. The New York application is the first metro ring configuration at the OC-192 SONET rate to interface directly to a global IP network including North America, South and Central America, Europe, and Asia, says Hitachi. Serving customers in New York's financial district and other area businesses, the New York ring traffic mix will include OC-48c traffic to and from Global Crossing's London-to-New York submarine link and the company's North American Crossing Network. The four-fiber, bi-directional, line-switched ring configuration includes nodes in New York City and Newark, NJ.

By combining control electronics with optical amplifier technology, JDS Uniphase has introduced an amplifier designed for metropolitan network applications. The optical amplifier uses high-speed digital signal processing technology to provide the transient control needed to minimize potential system instabilities found in high-density, dynamic networks. JDS Uniphase also introduced a fiber laser Raman source that provides optical powers greater than 1.5 W for pumping transmission fiber. This technology combination also produced a high-power optical amplifier for future cable-TV architectures with output power levels of 27 dBm and 30 dBm.

LighTrade Inc., a company building infrastructure for global bandwidth trading, has signed an agreement with Lucent Technologies valued at up to $50 million to create a new network using Lucent's WaveStar BandWidth Manager and other advanced optical networking products. Under the three-year agreement, Lucent's NetworkCare professional services will help design and install LighTrade's network of exchange points to facilitate the delivery of traded or auctioned bandwidth. LighTrade's network of exchange points will allow service providers and carriers to match availability with demand and drastically reduce provisioning cycles.

Nortel Networks increased its offerings of optical Internet solutions with the announcement of four innovations in optoelectronic components: development of wavelength tunability, the Meteor Multiwavelength Gain Module, integrated laser modulators, and integrated receivers. Qtera Corp., Nortel's carrier subsidiary, expanded its portfolio with the Qtera ULTRA networking system, which provides a 10-Gbit/sec backbone that breaks the 4000-km distance barrier without optoelectronic regeneration. Qtera will also be providing ultra-long-haul dense wavelength-division multiplexing backbone equipment to GTE Internetworking for field trials. In addition, Nortel announced expansion of its OPTera Metro portfolio to enable end-to-end delivery of 10-Gbit Ethernet and packet-over-SONET services.

Tektronix Inc. announced that General Dynamics Advanced Technology Systems, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, is purchasing $7.5 million worth of Tektronix' OTS9000 Optical Test Systems. Advanced Technology Systems will use the equipment to test transport network equipment in the manufacturing process. The test equipment enables Advanced Technology Systems to provide test services for 10-Gbits/sec transport capabilities over multiple channels. The OTS9000 Optical Test Set can test fiber capacity on a scalable platform, using fewer transmitters for multiple receivers.

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