Nashua, N.H. Teradyne Inc.'s Connection Systems Division (TCS) announced the company's first entry into the optical interconnect market with the introduction of the HD-Optyx optical connector. The company says it's the first modular optical interconnect that is compatible with both the high-density MT ferrule and mature, higher performance 1.25-mm ceramic ferrule technologies. This gives system designers greater flexibility by allowing them to choose 1.25-mm for system compatibility, MT for density, or both in the same system.
A key feature of the HD-Optyx optical connector is its modular architecture that offers a scaleable solution that can be easily and quickly configured into a custom layout without additional retooling to meet a variety of applications and changing design requirements.
"Our approach from the beginning was to offer a modular platform that can very easily be mixed and matched to address unique problems," said John Lehman, optical product development manager for Teradyne Connection Systems. "OEM customers are looking for new architectures where both ferrule types provide some value," he said.
In addition, a flexible platform is required because there isn't a standard way of implementing optics in the backplane, unlike electrical backplane connectors, Lehman said.
The optical architecture consists of duplex and simplex plugs, guidance modules, optical cable with the HD-Optyx connector, optical fiber circuits and shuffles and daughtercard fiber jumpers for panel mount, bulkhead and blindmate backplane solutions. The duplex plug holds and provides alignment for two MT ferrules/cable assemblies or four 1.25-mm ceramic ferrules/cable assemblies. The simplex version holds one MT ferrule or two 1.25-mm ceramic ferrules.
The connector features a unique plug design that protects the ferrules from handling damage and contamination. It also incorporates an innovative shutter design with doors on both the daughtercard and backplane side of the interconnect to address laser safety concerns and to minimize possible fiber contamination.
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In addition, the optical connector is functionally compatible with electrical backplane connector families offered by Teradyne and other suppliers. "The systems that are likely to use optics in the backplane will also have electrical connectors in the system. It will be a hybrid approach with both copper and optical in the backplane," Lehman said.
The company says the HD-Optyx platform offers the highest density multi-fiber ferrule solution available in the industry. An innovative design element allows Teradyne to space the guidance modules between the plugs so as more ferrules are added, it doesn't necessarily require additional modules.
With the caveat that it's configuration dependent, Teradyne's MT ferrule system compared with some competitive products offers about 40% to 100% higher density, Lehman said.
Applications include an intra-system interconnect via the backplane or front access. For new system architectures that are more distributed-type systems, high-density optical interconnects provide better performance, better value and the most cost-effective solution for the interconnect as compared with copper cable, Lehman said.
Samples are available. Volume production will be available in second quarter 2004. Teradyne will exhibit at next week's DesignCon 2004 conference in Santa Clara.
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