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New amplifiers accelerate high speed networks

Oclaro's new family of intra-node amplifiers use the firm’s uncooled compact pumps and dual-chip 980 nm pump lasers based on III-V compound semiconductors

Oclaro says its family of amplifiers is the industry's first targeted directly at off-setting losses inside the nodes of next generation ROADM network architectures that will carry 100 Gbps, 400 Gbps and 1 Tbps channels. 

ROADMs (reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers) add the ability to remotely switch traffic from a WDM (Wavelength-division multiplexing) system at the wavelength layer.

Off-setting losses in the node while maintaining space and power requirements is critical for maintaining the performance of high speed networks.

Losses inside the node have steadily increased as node architectures have evolved in complexity, and Oclaro says it is the first company to target this problem with a family of intra-node amplifiers. These are all built on its successful OASIS platform. These amplifiers are aimed at maximising the overall network performance while also meeting the stringent space and power constraints of next generation node designs.

Next generation networks will bring increased agility and asset utilisation through architectures that enable high degrees of colourless, directionless and contentionless routing of wavelengths in the optical domain. These increased demands on optical routing and connectivity within the node are creating losses that affect the overall network performance and can lead to significant limitations in the size of the optical network that can be supported without regeneration.

By utilising Oclaro's new intra-node amplifiers, network equipment manufacturers can maintain the network performance and allow installation on existing fibre plants while minimising footprint, power consumption and heat dissipation.

"With the broadest portfolio of products targeted directly at the core optical network, Oclaro is able to leverage its expertise to address critical design challenges posed by the more complex node architectures required for higher bit rate networks," said Terry Unter, President and General Manager of the Oclaro Optical Networks Solutions Business Unit. "By using these new amplifiers, our customers can now integrate amplification within the node, where space and power are at a premium, to enable higher bit rate wavelengths without compromising overall network performance."

"Oclaro continues to deliver the technology innovation for the core optical network that will help drive the growth of the 100 Gbps market, which we expect to be a nearly $2 billion market by 2016," said Daryl Inniss, Vice President and Practice Leader of Components Telecoms at Ovum.

"These higher bit rate networks have become increasingly complex as manufacturers continue to add more features while expanding the capacity. Such complexity results in higher node losses, which limit the network performance and may prevent installation on existing fibre plants. We think these amplifiers will be important tools to offset these higher losses while fitting onto the very dense line cards that we see today."

Oclaro's new family of intra-node amplifiers is leveraging its vertical integration strategy by using the firm’s recently announced uncooled compact pumps and dual-chip 980 nm pump lasers.

The uncooled 980 nm pumps offer up to 500 mW of output power from a 10-pin butterfly package. The dual-chip pumps feature a single 14-pin package that replaces two 600 mW discrete pumps, which significantly lowers the total module power consumption. These pump lasers therefore allow for simplified control electronics and reduced component count, while also reducing the space and power required by the optical amplifiers.

About the OASIS Intra-Node Amplifier Family

Oclaro's first two family members, a small form factor single-channel amplifier and a compact arrayed multi-channel amplifier, are built on the company’s OASIS platform that has been deployed in volume with customers around the globe. 

The single-channel amplifier is a very small form factor booster or pre-amplifier designed specifically for transponder applications. Pre-amplifier features include expanded input power ranges and ultrafast optical transient control, which enhance the robustness and performance of high bit rate direct detection and coherent receivers.

Booster amplifiers are optimised for single-wavelength amplification of amplitude and/or phase modulated signals. The arrayed amplifier is a space and power efficient amplifier targeted at off-setting losses of multiple parallel connections in add/drop cards or between line interface cards. 
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