AES Semigas


1 March 2023

Quantifi Photonics launches first CW-WDM MSA-compliant laser test source

Quantifi Photonics Ltd of Auckland, New Zealand (which provides high-density test equipment for silicon photonics, co-packaged optics and pluggable optics) has launched the Laser 1300 Series of compact, scalable CW-WDM MSA-compliant laser test sources, designed to enable the CW-WDM ecosystem and accelerate the adoption of multi-wavelength technology across emerging applications such as artificial intelligence (AI), high-performance computing (HPC) and high-density optics.

The new Laser 1300 Series integrates the SuperNova laser technology of silicon photonics-based chip-to-chip optical connectivity firm Ayar Labs of Santa Clara, CA, USA and provides a multi-port, multi-wavelength light source within a standardized PXIe module, offering synchronized triggering, a small footprint, simple integration, and Quantifi Photonics’ CohesionUI software interface. The first model to be announced, the Laser-1301, features eight channels, with eight CW-WDM MSA-compatible wavelengths.

The Laser-1301 can be paired with the firm’s existing PXIe-based products to build out a complete CW-WDM8 test solution. This includes the Laser-1226 and Laser-1227 (modules with individually controllable wavelengths at the MSA grid), Passive-1024 (CW-WDM8 multiplexer), Passive-1025 (CW-WDM8 demultiplexer), and the OSA-1001 (an optical spectrum analyzer that covers the CW-WDM range).

Designed to meet specifications of the Continuous-Wave Wavelength Division Multiplexing Multi-Source Agreement (CW-WDM MSA), the Laser 1300 Series allows the characterization of photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for AI, HPC and high-density optics applications while also providing a scalable, reproducible light source for mass-production testing. The Laser 1300 Series complies with the CW-WDM MSA specifications that standardizes multi-wavelength optical sources.

“It’s well known that the external light source is a critical component of the co-packaged optics ecosystem,” notes Kees Propstra, VP marketing & general manager Quantifi Photonics USA. “By combining the SuperNova CW-WDM-compliant light source with our proven PXIe-based optical test platform, we can offer a CW-WDM-capable test platform to serve the growing demand in the market and enable the testing and validation of PIC-based optical interconnects and accelerate adoption across the industry.”

Ayar Labs’ SuperNova light source, introduced in 2021 and developed along with its TeraPHY optical I/O chiplet, provides chip-to-chip connectivity at a fraction of the power of traditional electrical connections while dramatically improving performance, latency and reach.

“Optical I/O promises to solve the performance-per-watt challenges of next-generation AI and HPC applications, breaking copper’s impending power and performance wall,” says Matt Sysak, VP of laser engineering at Ayar. “Test and measurement is an important consideration as the industry ecosystem accelerates development of these next-generation systems, and we’re eager to work with Quantifi Photonics to demonstrate the robustness of our solutions,” he adds. 

“This is a great example of what the CW-WDM MSA wanted to accomplish by publishing the first specification; the development of commercial laser sources for high-wavelength-count applications,” says CW-WDM MSA chair Chris Cole. “We are now ready to start considering our next step, which is the development and publication of link specifications.”

Quantifi Photonics is displaying the Laser 1300 Series in booth 4511 at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC 2023) in San Diego, CA, USA (7–9 March) and is also demonstrating a range of PXIe-based lasers, OSAs (optical subassemblies), power meters, polarization controllers and BERTs (bit-error-rate testers) designed to enable efficient, high-volume testing of silicon photonics, co-packaged optics and next-generation pluggable optics.

Tags: Optical communications silicon photonics