Agilent offers fiber-optic switches for optical manufacturing tests

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) says its new N77 Series optical switches improve the cost-effectiveness of optical transceiver manufacturing tests as well as the efficiency of optical component and cable verification.

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) says its new N77 Series optical switches improve the cost-effectiveness of optical transceiver manufacturing tests as well as the efficiency of optical component and cable verification.

The Agilent N7731A dual 1x4 optical switch and the N7734A 1x13 optical switch are available for singlemode or multimode fiber-optic connections. They offer “excellent” repeatability and flexible automation control, the company asserts.

“Manufacturers of optical transmitters and receivers constantly strive for better yield and lower cost of test,” said Jurgen Beck, general manager of Agilent’s digital photonic test products. “Our new optical switches help them achieve their goals by making accurate measurements and making automation easier with excellent repeatability, fast switching time, and flexible control with LAN, USB, and GPIB interfaces.”

Agilent says the switches feature the following:

  • Repeatability of ±0.01 dB, ±0.004 dB typical
  • Switching time of < 20 ms
  • Lifetime of > 1 billion cycles
  • 816x VXI plug-and-play driver support
  • N77xx viewer GUI

Manufacturers can use the switches in a variety of applications. For example, in parallel-test configurations, they can test multiple cables or components during temperature cycling. Meanwhile, optical interconnections for 40-Gigabit Ethernet or 100-Gigabit Ethernet call for identical testing in multiple paths. The 1x13 switch configuration will support the requirements of these high-speed applications, Agilent says, with the 13th path used as a permanent reference path.

The switches also should help automated testing by avoiding repeated reconnections during measurements. The switching repeatability of the N77 Series switches are designed to ensure a constant signal level from cycle to cycle.

For multimode fiber applications, the Agilent multimode switches are designed with very short collimated paths between fibers, so signals propagate in practically the same distribution as through uninterrupted multimode fiber.

The Agilent N7731A dual 1x4 optical switch and N7734A single 1x13 optical switch for singlemode and multimode applications are available for order. List prices for the N7731A start at $14,500 and at $19,000 for the N7734A.

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