Finisar intros programmable optical processor for instrumentation market

JANUARY 21, 2009 -- Finisar says the WaveShaper family of dynamically reconfigurable optical processors produces highly flexible wavelength switching and filtering that is critical in DWDM system and component testing, optical pulse shaping and control, and general optics research and development. The company acquired the WaveShaper portfolio during its recent merger with Optium.

JANUARY 21, 2009 -- Finisar Corp. (search for Finisar) today introduced WaveShaper, a family of programmable optical processors, at the Fiber Optics Expo in Tokyo. According to the company, these dynamically reconfigurable optical processors produce highly flexible wavelength switching and filtering that is critical in DWDM system and component testing, optical pulse shaping and control, and general optics research and development. It is well-suited for telecom equipment and systems manufacturers, R&D laboratories, and universities.

Based on Finisar's internally developed Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) technology, the WaveShaper processor family comprises the WaveShaper 1000E Programmable Optical Filter and the WaveShaper 4000E Multiport Optical Processor. Both instruments provide extremely fine control of optical filtering and attenuation to combine the functionality of multiple optical instruments into a single, high-performance platform, say company representatives. In addition, they claim the WaveShaper 4000E Multiport Optical Processor can generate the dynamically reconfigurable filter profiles required for switching channels in a wavelength selective switch (WSS), greatly extending the range of functions and tests available to users.

Key features common to all members of the WaveShaper family include:
• Adjustable center frequency over a 4-THz optical range for both C and L bands;
• High extinction ratio (typically > 50dB) to remove unwanted signals and maintain accuracy;
• Independently programmable amplitude and phase to enable users to create custom filters;
• Alignment to ITU grid for simplified testing of DWDM transmission channels; and
• Support for both narrow-band (DWDM) and broad-band (short pulse) system testing.

"The precision and flexibility of the WaveShaper 4000E is remarkable," claims Professor Arthur Lowery of Monash University, Australia. "While there are other optical processors on the market, none of them offer the control, programmability, or switching capabilities provided by Finisar's WaveShaper."

Finisar acquired the WaveShaper portfolio during its recent merger with Optium as part of efforts to expand its product portfolio beyond Finisar's traditional markets.

"WaveShaper represents a timely opportunity for Finisar to leverage our unique technological capabilities into the Optical Instrumentation market," notes Simon Poole, director of New Business Ventures for Finisar Australia. "With the WaveShaper family of products, we are redefining the capabilities for optical wavelength processing in R&D and product testing environments."

The WaveShaper 1000E and WaveShaper 4000E are shipping now.

Finisar will demonstrate WaveShaper in Booth #2-30 at FOE this week in Tokyo and at Photonics West, Booth #6605 in San Jose, CA, from January 27-29.


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