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23 January 2007


Bookham launches tunable lasers with in-service power adjustment and added L-band capability

Bookham Inc of San Jose, CA, USA has launched two new versions of its fully qualified LambdaFlex integrable Tunable Laser Assembly (iTLA): one a completely new iTLA offering L-band capability with in-service power adjustment; the second bringing in-service power adjustment to the existing C-band iTLA. The products are designed to give the flexibility and scalability for future network capacity demands.

The L-band iTLA will be on display, alongside the first live demonstration of the C-band capability, at the Fibre Optics Expo (FOE) in Tokyo later this week, on the stand of Japanese distributor JLC.

“To cope with network demand and infrastructure requirements, telecoms customers are repeatedly requesting L-band performance from tunable laser assemblies,” says Jon White, product line manager for tunable sources. “The Bookham iTLA also now features an operational power adjustment mechanism to provide integration flexibility to compensate MZ [Mach-Zehnder] insertion loss variation and channel leveling for in-service use, providing customers with the necessary flexibility to manage their power budgets across new and legacy systems,” he adds.  

The new products build on Bookham’s fixed-power C-band iTLA, which is fully qualified and in high-volume production at the firm’s manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China. Based on the outline of the Optical Internetworking Forum’s multi-source agreement (OIF MSA), the laser and control electronics are pre-mounted on a dedicated circuit board to ensure that users can integrate the assembly with their systems as quickly as possible. The product provides functions such as narrow line-width, internal frequency dither generation, direct input path for TX trace tone functionality, dark tuning, and field-programmable firmware.

“Our tunable laser capability is forming the core building block of the next generation of small form factor products,” says White. By combining the laser with the firm’s InP modulators, Bookham claims it can offer an unrivalled footprint in a single transmitter package, reducing size and complexity.

Bookham’s tunable laser is fabricated on a single InP optical chip with no moving parts, enabling fast tuning and ensuring reliability comparable to that offered by legacy DFB lasers, it is claimed, as well as bringing cost-effective wideband tunability to long-haul and regional metro applications.