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Cable Technology Feature Article

September 23, 2008

JDSU Enhances its Photonic Integrated Amplifier Platform

By Shamila Janakiraman, TMCnet Contributor

JDSU (News - Alert) has announced new features as part of its photonic integrated amplifier (PIA) platform. These new technologies will enable reduction in size, cost optimization, better performance and reconfigurability of the new amplifier platform in a bid to re-energize signals that were weakened by traveling over long distances and over dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) networks.

The features available now in the PIA platform enhance performance levels of the optical amplifier. This includes an Optical isolator designed especially for the PIA platform to reduce the number of discrete isolator components from six to one. These isolators prevent light signals from reflecting back within an optical amplifier which can cause damage or disturbance in the quality of the signals in DWDM networks.

To improve its performance efficiency, JDSU will edge mount the isolator solution on the Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC) chip in the PIA platform for seamless functioning with the integrated optical amplifier elements on the chip. Performance will also be enhanced as light signals need not travel on and off the chip through separate discrete isolators which would have weakened the signals.

The Waveguide capability added to the PIA platform will allow routing, splitting and recombining of light signals within the platform. These two innovations will provide new light management capabilities to the optical amplifiers.

The waveguide technology enables both the 980 nanometer (nm) and 1550 nm wavelengths of light to combine and travel on a single planar lightwave circuit (PLC) chip in the PIA platform. A range of fibered bulk components needed for managing the light signals can be replaced by a single PLC chip in the amplifier.

JDSU’s photo detector arrays enable a reduction in the number of discrete devices needed from 9 to one array. And the photo detector arrays help monitor feedback loops for controlling each part of the amplifier as well as provides alarm functionality.

The variable pump filter improves noise performance over a wider dynamic range. A single amplifier is tuned for including both low and high input applications improving the noise figure at low input conditions.

The tunable gain flattening filter, when being used with an optical channel monitor, compensates for system link impairments like unequal channel power levels caused by transmission fiber and other components. This provides output with consistent power levels for each amplified channel. The tilt filter provides automatic tilt adjustment when ever channel load or total signal power changes. It is linear and is compatible with typical network characteristics.

The growth in voice, video and data applications are resulting in higher network traffic levels and Network Equipment Manufacturers (NEMs) and service providers are striving to improve their networks in order to support bandwidth demands by optimizing cost and space.

Shamila Janakiraman is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Shamila’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi