26 January 2011

Oclaro delivers VCSELs for first miniature atomic clock available in volume

Optical component, module and subsystem maker Oclaro Inc of San Jose, CA, USA says that it has developed single-mode vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSEL) for atomic clocks, and that the lasers are being used by Symmetricom, a designer and manufacturer of frequency standards, in its SA.35m miniaturized rubidium atomic clock. Featuring ultra-high stability, low noise and a wavelength of 795nm, Oclaro claims that the single-mode VCSELs signify a new direction in the industry by enabling the world’s first miniature atomic clock available in volume.

While atomic clocks are recognized as extremely precise time-keeping devices, they have been limited in size and reliability due to their traditional gas lamp. By replacing the gas lamp with a laser, manufacturers such as Symmetricom can improve the reliability and power consumption of atomic clocks and begin targeting applications that require smaller devices, says Oclaro.

“A core part of Oclaro's strategy is to expand into adjacent markets where we can leverage our optical technology and solutions,” says executive VP & division manager Yves LeMaitre.

The firm says that its single-mode VCSELs enable advances in physics miniaturization, resulting in reduced size and power consumption while providing stable reference frequencies that are immune to standard environmental perturbation. The lasers power Symmetricom’s SA.3Xm rubidium atomic frequency reference, a miniature atomic oscillator component used by network equipment manufacturers to ensure reliable wireless infrastructure.

“Oclaro’s breadth of technology is enabling us to deliver a new generation of laser-based atomic clocks,” says Symmetricom’s director of engineering Jeff Dansereau. “The ability to bring atomic oscillators to newer, small form factors enables a variety of end systems to achieve performance previously unattainable,” he adds.

Tags: Oclaro VCSELs

Visit: www.oclaro.com

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