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3 December 2007


Infinera’s Welch and Nagarajan named IEEE Fellows

Infinera of Sunnyvale, CA, USA says that co-founder Dr Dave Welch, currently its chief marketing and strategy officer, has received two industry honors, recognizing his key role in the development of what the firm claims are the world’s first commercial large-scale photonic integrated circuits (PICs).

Welch has been elected to the board of directors of the Optical Society of America (OSA), the nonprofit association that promotes the study of optics and photonics. His three-year term begins on 1 January. Welch will contribute to shaping current efforts and building future programs and initiatives for OSA. “His industry experience, history and technical knowledge undoubtedly will be an asset to the board,” says OSA executive director Elizabeth Rogan.

Welch has also been named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) for 2008, citing his “contributions to semiconductor lasers and photonic integrated circuits”.

With the commercial introduction of its DTN digital optical networking system in 2004, Infinera claims to have pioneered the first large-scale PICs deployed in commercial telecom networks. The firm’s PICs integrate more than 60 optical devices on a pair of monolithic indium phosphide chips, enabling it to develop optical systems with a data rate of 100Gb/s per line-card. Infinera optical systems have since won deployments in telecom and Internet service provider networks worldwide.

From 1985 to 2001, Welch was responsible for many of the products and technical developments made at optical component maker SDL Inc, the world’s largest manufacturer of pump lasers for optical telecom networks (acquired by JDS Uniphase in 2001 for $41bn). Welch has more than 80 patents and more than 250 published articles to his credit.

Infinera’s director of Advanced Optical Technologies, Dr Radha Nagarajan, has also been made an IEEE Fellow for his key role in the development of Infinera’s large-scale PICs, citing “contributions to high-bandwidth semiconductor laser and photonic integrated circuit technologies”. Infinera says that Nagarajan has played a leading role in the development of its PICs.

The recognition comes two years after Nagarajan was named an OSA Fellow for 2006. Also, in October 2006, Nagarajan (along with colleagues Drs Charles Joyner and Richard Schneider) was honored by the Laser and Electro-Optical Society (LEOS) with the Aron Kressel Award.

Nagarajan obtained his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering at the National University of Singapore, a Masters in Electrical Engineering at the University of Tokyo, and a Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1992, and then joined SDL in 1995. In 2000, Nagarajan won a Photonics Circle of Excellence award for the design of an efficient, high-power, single-mode pump module for erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) applications.

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