LOS ANGELES ( ChipWire)-- CyOptics Inc., a semiconductor startup here, will blow past the 10-gigabits-per-second world at the Optical Fibers Conference next week in Baltimore with a component that supports OC-768 networks at 40 Gbits/s.
CyOptics uses a proprietary pulse-generating laser and a companion electro-absorption modulator (EAM) to eliminate several traditional components needed in 40-Gbit dense wave-division multiplexing (DWDM) systems.
The technology also can be used in ultralong-haul 10-Gbits/s networks and in optical time-division multiplexing (OTDM) systems. The EAM component CyOptics plans to show not only is smaller than
lithium-niobate modulators -- it's embedded in a three-quarter-inch long butterfly package -- but it can use a drive voltage of 2 to 3 volts, compared to the typical 10- to 15-V range. The EAM is
intended to be integrated directly with a laser in low-form-factor modules, and uses a return-to-zero (RZ) modulation scheme for lower-cost system implementations than fiber non-return-to-zero (NRZ) coding systems.
Hava Volterra, vice president of marketing at CyOptics, said that Uzi Koren, the chief technology officer of the company, had been the leader of indium phosphide (InP) laser programs at Lucent Technologies Inc. and was key to bringing the team together that founded CyOptics in January 1999. Koren brought in Eran Yarkoni, former head of Intel Corp.'s Pentium operation, as president, and Dror Mototvilov, a specialist in military optics, as vice president of operations.
The company bought a leased InP fab in Israel in mid-1999, since having direct control of semiconductor processes was key to developing lasers and EAMs with the desired characteristics for
high-speed optical backbones. The 10,000-sq.-ft. facility is complete with MOCVD wafer equipment for InP wafer growth. For package manufacturing and testing, CyOptics has turned to an
outsourced silicon optical bench manufacturing process to avoid metal hermetic packaging wherever possible, using standard semiconductor packaging techniques for optical transmission
Volterra said that Koren had many years of experience working with RZ modulation and decided to apply it to the pulsed-laser/EAM combination the company planned. RZ modulation offers better
signal integrity than NRZ coding in most applications. The pulsed laser can also be used as a continuous-wave laser, and the same core process CyOptics plans to use will form the basis for future tunable laser products.
Future OTDM systems will require 1- to 5-picosecond pulses, and CyOptics' laser will meet that requirement. The advantage for the company is that ultralong-haul 10-Gbit, and 40-Gbit markets
are emerging now, allowing the company to realize revenues regardless of the time frame in which OTDM systems arrive.
The current 10-Gbit EAM product will be augmented with a native 40-Gbit EAM product in the near future. Because the EAM circuit is as small as a grain of sand, it can be combined in a single
package with a pulse laser, providing 10- and 40-Gbit RZ modulated light sources, the company said. Alternatively, CyOptics can look at packages that have multiple cascaded EAMs for special-purpose optical network applications.
Meanwhile, the tunable laser under development could be marketed in standalone fashion or combined with the EAM products to make single-package tunable transmitter modules. CyOptics also is considering pairing its EAM with outsourced distributed feedback lasers, to offer long-haul NRZ transmitter modules.