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25 June 2009


GigOptix and D-Lightsys optical interconnects to be used on Airbus A400M

GigOptix Inc of Palo Alto, CA, USA, which designs optical modulators, drivers and transimpedance amplifier (TIA) ICs based on III-V materials, and D-Lightsys of Rosny Sous Bois, near Paris, France, a Radiall Company that manufactures optical interconnects for severe environments, have received combined product certification from Airbus Military for its A-400M. This is said to be the first truly new military transport aircraft of its category designed in over 30 years (with twice the capacity and payload of the aircraft that it will replace).

Fiber-optic communications links are insensitive to electro-magnetic interference (EMI) and do not generate EMI, as well as guaranteeing huge available bandwidth. They are therefore being adopted in avionics systems to ensure the integrity and to allow extensibility of the aircraft's communication systems. In addition, replacing copper with fiber optics significantly reduces weight, contributing to improved fuel economy. D-Lightsys says that its parallel optical transceivers were selected by Airbus equipment manufacturers for the A-400M fuel control systems due to their small footprint and low-power capability.

The compact designs of GigOptix’s HXR3401 TIA and HXT3101 VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) driver enable D-Lightsys to deliver highly integrated and mechanically robust optical transceivers with what is claimed to the best power consumption on the market. The devices are built to withstand the severe environmental requirements of military and avionic applications and comply with AEEC/ARINC 804 transceiver specifications. Being protocol independent, they can be applied to Gigabit Ethernet, Fiber Channel, Infiniband or any specific communication application.

“D-Lightsys has been working closely with GigOptix to produce a superior system that will be resistant to the stresses of avionics,” says D-Lightsys' CEO Mathias Pez. “Being certified for this advanced avionic application is another step forward for GigOptix which would not have been possible without our close partnership with D-Lightsys,” adds Jörg Wieland, VP & general manager of subsidiary GigOptix-Helix of Zurich, Switzerland (which makes TIAs, limiting amplifiers and VCSEL drivers).

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