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Optical Devices Developed For Fiber-To-The-Home Mart

By tapping innovative material, design and manufacturing technologies, optical devices have been developed that are said to deliver the low cost and high performance needed for the devices to gain use in applications such as fiber-to-the-home. Built using glass and plastic materials and micro lens array, actuator (i.e., low signal relay) and laser technologies, the first products to go commercial are optical switches, to be followed by a variable optical attenuator with indicator, a 4-channel multiplexer/demultiplexer device, and a 12-channel, multimode interconnnect. Central to the make up of all of the devices is the use of plastic rather than glass lenses, with the plastic-on-glass lenses produced having the same pitch as that of the fiber. This is said to result in a substantial reduction in the size and alignment required of the devices. The optical switches come in a 2x2 configuration and in 1,290-1,330 and 1,520-1,580 nm wavelengths and feature insertion and return losses of =40 dB, respectively, crosstalk of >=50 dB, control voltage of 5 Vdc (100 mW), switching time of =10 million cycles. The switches measure 12 x 27 x 8 mm, mate with SMF fibers, operate over a -5°C to 70°C temperature range, and in a MEMS-scale package cost $100 each in volume quantities. A 1x8 switch is also available. For more details on the new fiber-to-the-home devices, contact Steve Massie at OMRON ELECTRONICS LLC, Schaumburg, IL. (800) 556-6766.


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