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19 February 2008


Bookham demos zero-chirp fully qualified tunable SFF transponder

At next week’s Optical Fiber Communication and National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC 2008) in San Diego, CA, USA, Bookham Inc of San Jose, CA is demonstrating a new zero-chirp variant of its LambdaFLEX TL9000 300-pin transponder, which it reckons is the industry’s first fully Telcordia-qualified tunable small-form-factor transponder (TSFF). Bookham claims to have been first to market with TSFF technology (in early 2007).

The TSFF has passed more than 2000 hours of testing (necessary for full qualification in accordance with Telcordia GR-468-CORE for integrated modules used in CO environments), proving its reliability and performance in a footprint 58% smaller than previous-generation tunable LFF (large form factor) transponders. The 2.2” x 3” footprint enables network equipment manufacturers to increase port density, placing two SFF transponders on a card where only one LFF would fit. The TL9000 is a direct drop-in replacement for the LFF devices, so customers can also leverage Bookham’s already competitive pricing on existing cards using LFF, the firm says.

Now released to volume production, the TL9000 is being field-deployed by a tier-1 North American network provider, and Bookham expects to ship several hundreds of the devices during first-quarter 2008.

“Our fully qualified optics, including receivers and transmitters, support products throughout our high-performance tunable portfolio,” says executive VP and telecoms general manager Adrian Meldrum. “This vertical integration model, combined with key facilities in the UK and China, enables us to scale manufacturing and control production costs.”

The universal nature of the product allows customization to individual specifications, whilst a standard but flexible platform design is used across all applications. This can reduce lead-time, decrease inventory costs, and allow production flexibility and cost optimization, says Bookham. The product can be configured with either a negatively chirped or zero-chirp transmitter for both regional metro and long-haul DWDM applications.

Responding to customer requirements, Bookham is also introducing new features to the configurable product platform. A variable optical attenuator (VOA) can be integrated into the co-planar receiver package within the transponder, extending the operating dynamic range of the Rx chain to powers greater than 8dBm and easing network design constraints. An extended-band transmitter with 100 50GHz-spaced ITU channels is also available, enabled by Bookham’s (digital supermode distributed Bragg reflector) DSDBR tunable laser chip.

Bookham says that its ultra-compact indium phosphide (InP) Mach Zehnder (MZ) transmitter is the key enabler for the SFF platform, and offers high performance for noise-loaded environments, equal to larger-sized rival technologies. Requiring a smaller voltage drive than other MZ modulator types it is claimed, the technology also enables typical module power dissipation of just 7W. The TL9000 operates at data rates of up to 11.3Gb/s, is fully compliant with the 300-pin transponder multi-source agreement (MSA), and is just 0.45” high, allowing room for airflow and heat-sinking to enable improved thermal management.

See related items:

Bookham growth driven by tunables and 980nm pumps, but legacy product fall-off to hit margins in short term

Bookham expands manufacturing in Zurich after shipping 4m polarization-stabilized VCSELs

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