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9 December 2008


OIF releases tunable laser and transmitter assembly agreements

Members of the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) have fine-tuned the organization’s Integrable Tunable Laser Assembly Multi-Source Agreement (ITLA-MSA) version 01.2 to include continued refinements, added features, and improved performance. In addition, the ITLA platform has been leveraged into the next-generation tunable laser agreement, the Integrable Tunable Transmitter Assembly (ITTA).

The OIF says that, since the first tunable laser agreement (released in 2002), its tunable laser projects have continued to receive a high level of interest from the industry and from member companies. “The OIF has played a pivotal role in the standardization of tunable lasers in the telecom industry with the ITLA and ITTA multi-source agreements,” says the OIF's Software Working Group chair, Raj Batra of component maker Emcore of Albuquerque, NM, USA. “These agreements have helped fuel the rapid adoption and integration of tunable lasers into telecom equipment, allowing vendors to displace fixed-wavelength lasers in DWDM applications,” he adds.

The OIF's PLL (Physical Link Layer) Working Group receives continuous feedback from the industry, evolving the ITLA-MSA to meet changing needs. The new version realizes performance and cost improvements by optimizing the command set which enables the use of smaller, lower-power microprocessors and leads the way to future size reduction of the ITLA. New features have also been added to support applications requiring non-traffic interrupting off-grid tuning as well as those requiring sub-tones for channel identification.

Additionally, a project within the OIF Software Working Group has been created to work on interface testing to help ensure consistent software interface implementations across multiple ITLA vendors.

The ITTA is a tunable laser integrated with a modulator encompassed by an electronics board containing the necessary laser and modulator control electronics. It uses an enhanced version of the ITLA's command interface that has been extended to include software control of the integrated modulator. The ITTA comes in two form-factors: one that is similar in size to the ITLA, and a reduced-size version compatible for use within a 300-pin SFF transponder.

The ITTA is designed for use in both 300-pin transponders as well as discrete line-card applications. The ITTA agreement details a communication protocol, electrical interface, power supply, optical specifications, and a mechanical interface for use in telecoms equipment operating in the C- or L-band.

The ITLA and ITTA multi-source agreements are the latest in a series of four tunable laser projects completed by the OIF. The first resulted in the Tunable Laser Implementation Agreement (OIF-TL-01.1) and involved a large number of contributors from a wide variety of consumers and suppliers of tunable lasers. It addressed the communication protocol, electrical interface and mechanical form factor interoperability for tunable continuous wavelength (CW) lasers.

The second project, an MSA for the Tunable Laser Implementation Agreement (IA), generated a more comprehensive specification of the optical, electrical, mechanical, and communication protocols.

See related item:

OIF 100G project to focus on integrated photonic components

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