40 GHz 'optical sampler' provides advanced building block for emerging optical networking architectures

27 July 2005 Opto-Electronics

The Centre for Integrated Photonics (CIP) has released a novel component that provides a versatile platform for optical networks employing advanced attributes such as return-to-zero data modulation, pulse shaping, and optical time division multiplexing.

Providing a sampling function capable of operating at rates up to 40 GHz in the 1550 nm waveband, the indium-phosphide (InP) device can generate temporal windows of less than 5 ps duration with a low polarisation loss, and fine control over both window shape and frequency. This offers a compact and much more versatile alternative to conventional component options.

Based on an electro-absorption modulator (EAM), the device (40G-PS-EAM-1550) can be used in a wide variety of optical applications. Many current optical network development projects are investigating new architectural concepts including the use of return-to-zero (RZ) data modulation. Here, a simple combination of a low-cost continuous wave laser and CIP's new device can provide narrow RZ pulse trains at rates up to 40 GHz.

The component is also ideal for high-speed optical analysis, for dynamic performance monitoring of network signal quality.

Another emerging technique for network development is the use of OTDM (optical time division multiplexing). By using multiple 40G-PS-EAM-1550 devices with a simple passive splitter and delay line arrangement, an elegant and cost-effective solution for implementing the full demultiplexing function required at the end of an OTDM link is provided.

Among the major performance characteristics of the 40G-PS-EAM-1550 device for 1550 nm applications is the ability to generate temporal optical sampling windows with a FWHM (full wave half maximum) duration of less than 5 ps, a polarisation dependent loss of typically 0,7 dB, and a modulation depth of 28 dB typical.

For more information contact CIP, info@ciphotonics.com

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