Electronic Design

MEMS-Based Optical Gain Equalizer Packs Control Circuitry

Designed for small size, flexibility, and ease of use, Lightconnect's optical Dynamic Gain Equalizer (DGE) integrates a diffraction-grating MEMS (microelectromechanical system) structure with control electronics in just 220 by 110 by 19 mm. Packaged with all the supporting hardware and software, it can be implemented directly on a system motherboard.

This second-generation module boasts a 5.7-dB insertion loss, a 0.3-dB polarization-dependent loss, a 50-µs response time, gain flatness within ±0.2 dB, and a 15-dB dynamic range. It can flatten erbium-doped fiber-amplifier (EDFA) gain profiles to within ±0.1 dB. Also, it's customer configurable for the 40-nm range in the C or L band.

The DGE's MEMS grating ribbon features 0.4-µm motion. The high resonant frequencies of the MEMS ribbons increase speed by 50 to 500 times over competing technologies while providing a robust optical platform virtually unaffected by ambient acoustic and seismic disturbances. No temperature control is required. Closed-loop control with the host sets the target spectrum. Alarm-handling and status-reporting features are included as well.

The DGE module costs $10,000 to $15,000, based on volume and performance requirements. Samples are available now. Production quantities are scheduled for the second quarter.

Lightconnect Inc., www.lightconnect.com; (510) 713-3120.

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