Micram Instruments targets high-speed fiber optic testing at ECOC 2013

Micram Instruments Ltd. launched new measurement technologies and products for testing high-speed optical networks at last week’s ECOC exhibition, including the AWG6020 Dual Channel Arbitrary Waveform Generator (AWG) and a 100G 2:1 Multiplexer.

Micram Instruments Ltd. launched new measurement technologies and products for testing high-speed fiber-optic networks at last week’s ECOC exhibition, including the AWG6020 Dual Channel Arbitrary Waveform Generator (AWG) and a 100G 2:1 Multiplexer.

Micram Instruments’ AWG6020 Dual Channel Arbitrary Waveform Generator enables researchers and engineers to generate high-order complex modulation formats, such as 32-QAM, 64-QAM, and OFDM, at performance levels never previously available in a fully integrated AWG, the company asserts. With dual output channels, fully automatic internal channel synchronization, what the company asserts is world record sampling performance and analog bandwidth, and a fully integrated MATLAB programming interface, the AWG6020 sets new standards of speed, flexibility, and control in complex signal generation, Micram claims.

The AWG6020 is powered by the VEGA digital-to-analog (DAC) converter chips from sister company Micram Microelectronics GmbH. “The latest Micram VEGA DAC prototype exceeded all original design targets and has now achieved 72 GS/s, while delivering analog bandwidth of 24 GHz, in testing Micram conducted while working closely in co-development with Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs,” said Micram Instruments CEO Matthias Tom Frei. “The amazing performance of the third-generation Micram VEGA family has enabled us to effectively double the performance of our flagship dual-channel AWG, which we introduced at OFC last March, only six months ago.”

Like its predecessor the AWG3420, Micram Instruments’ new AWG6020 is based on the Universal Signal Processor Architecture (USPA), co-developed with Bell Labs, the research organization of Alcatel-Lucent. USPA has enabled a better than 100% increase in sampling performance, serving as a platform for the latest Micram VEGA DAC without any major hardware changes, Micram says. In cooperation with researchers at Bell Labs, Micram presented a technical paper at ECOC titled, “Generation of a Digitally Shaped 55-GBd 64-QAM Single-Carrier Signal Using Novel High-Speed DACs.”

Also debuting at ECOC was Micram Instruments’ MUX2180 Multiplexer, designed to give current owners of high-speed bit-error rate testers (BERTs) from any manufacturer an easy, cost-effective means to double their performance. The MUX2180 multiplexes two input channels, each at up to 56 Gbps, into a single output channel at up to 112 Gbps.

“There is a very large installed base of BERTs and programmable pattern generators that were purchased for 40G and lower speed development work,” said Federico Lipparini, director of product strategy for Micram Instruments. “Our new MUX2180 instrument allows owners of these devices to redeploy them into 100G applications at a very reasonable cost. This is a very important product for us, leveraging proven Micram UltraFastSiGe technology that has been around for years into a market that is starving for cost effective ways to get to 100G performance.”

The MUX2180 is first of a series of products that Micram has planned, using existing Micram building blocks to build new test and measurement products.

Longtime Micram partner Fraunhofer HHI also introduced its latest optical AWG at ECOC, which delivers 70-GS/s performance through time interleaving of two previous-generation Micram VEGA DACII signal converters, a technique that demonstrates a clear path to even faster VEGA-powered instruments.

“Fraunhofer HHI’s 70-GS/s AWG is a fantastic new component of their multi-terabit test solution for optical communication applications,” said Paul De Zan, director of corporate marketing for Micram Instruments. “HHI’s pioneering use of time interleaving to double effective performance has broad implications for future VEGA-powered systems and ensures that we will continue to deliver industry-leading sample rates and bandwidth for a long time to come.”

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