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Chinese OK for GaAs power meters from JDSU

A substantial new market for GaAs-based photonic devices could open up for JDSU as the Chinese government certifies the technology.

JDSU's photonic systems for measuring electrical current have passed tests set by the Chinese government.

The certification could result in a fast-growing new market for GaAs-based lasers and photovoltaic devices, which are both fundamental components of the systems.

Working in conjunction with Zhuhai Cheng-Rui Electric Power Company, JDSU says that it incorporated one of its photonic power systems to demonstrate the benefits of all-fiber digital measurement of electric current.

"We expect rapid growth of optically-powered current measurement systems," said Xiao-Li Xu, general manager at the utilities company. "All-fiber systems have now reached the economical level and achieved the reliability to support the future development of Chinese and other Asian electric power markets."

The photonic power systems from JDSU can monitor and protect transmission and distribution grids operating between 100 kV and 500 kV.

And because they are based on photonics, the measurement systems are immune to interference from local electric and magnetic fields.

JDSU acquired the technology through its acquisition of Photonic Power Systems in June last year, at which time the division employed just eight people.

The unit recently demonstrated a photovoltaic device with over 50% electro-optical conversion efficiency in its laboratories (see related story).

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