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Optical Wireless Design Taps MEMS And DSP Technologies

Dramatic cuts in the cost and complexity of bringing the high-speed data rates of optical networking to end users are claimed for a new wireless reference design that establishes its high performance levels by integrating on-board DSP, analog, mixed-signal, optical transceiver, and MEMS (microelectromechanical system) technologies. The optical wireless reference design is said to not only support 100-Mbps, full-duplex, point-to-point secure communications, but to bring new levels of flexibility, manageability and ease-of-installation to LAN system designs.
A key component of the design is a two-axis, gimbaled MEMS mirror (bottom left in main photo) for reflecting light with virtually no loss in optical power. The DSP, coupled with control algorithms, steers the micro mirror to within a fraction of a micron of its required position, allowing switching speeds of less than 5 ms. The design also includes high-speed data converters, op amps, and power management ICs.
Other features of the programmable light-processing platform include an operational range of 50 meters (this compares to under 2 meters for IrDA), a greater than 10-Gbps aggregate bandwidth, a 10-µW transmitter output, compliance to switched Ethernet, and dedicated connections. In addition, no FCC certification is required. The next generation of the design is expected to push transmission distances out to 100 meters. And next year, data rates of 1 Gbps are expected to be achieved.

Company: TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INC. - Semiconductor Group, Literature Response Center

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