Press Release Summary:
Wavechip(TM) silicon chip measures 27 x 7.5 mm and includes 60 independently controllable electro-optic filters. Microscopic filters are created with electrically switchable Bragg gratings, which are used to route, condition, and monitor DWDM wavelengths all within same integrated circuit. Wavechip provides core optical processor in DGE130 Dynamic Gain Equalizer module.
Original Press Release:
DigiLens Sets Record for Optical Component Integration
National Fiber Optics Engineers Conference (NFOEC), Dallas, Texas, September 16, 2002 -- DigiLens today announced a record for Photonic Integrated Circuit complexity with 60 independently controllable electro-optic filters in a silicon chip measuring just 27 mm x 7.5 mm. The microscopic filters at the heart of the Wavechip(TM) are created with electrically switchable Bragg gratings, which are used to route, condition and monitor DWDM wavelengths all within the same integrated circuit (IC).
"Our new Silicon Oxynitride (SiON) wafer scale manufacturing process has resulted in a significant increase in precision, which has led to this integration density breakthrough," said Dr. Jonathan Waldern, CEO of DigiLens. "This is a major step toward realizing the optical 'system on a chip' dream and we now have strong customer interest for integrating multiple functions such as monitoring and equalization or low-cost reconfigurable add/drops with attenuation and monitoring on the same chip for example. "
Lawrence Gasman, president of Communications Industry Researchers, Inc. (CIR), a leading industry analyst firm specializing in the fields of optical networking systems, components, bandwidth services and software, commented, "The implication of this level of feature integration and the cost/performance benefits that accrue as a result is that complex optical subsystems such as reconfigurable OADMs and cross connects will be available in the not too distant future with prices in the $100's of dollars per port -- in sharp contrast to the thousands of dollars per port we're seeing today. This changes the dynamic for carriers and will undoubtedly influence their network expansion plans moving forward."
The DigiLens Wavechip is entering service initially as the core optical processor in DigiLens' DGE130 Dynamic Gain Equalizer module. Dynamic gain equalizers have been identified as vital components to maintain critical signal-to-noise ratios as metro links steadily grow in reach, yet have to be able to respond to increasingly dynamic optical traffic patterns. DGE130 evaluation samples containing the breakthrough Wavechip will begin shipping over the next few weeks.
Dr. Waldern will be speaking on the subject of photonic integration in NFOEC Session B3 entitled "What Are the Issues and Challenges Facing Metro Optical Networking?"
About DigiLens: www.digilens.com
Located in Sunnyvale, California, DigiLens develops and manufactures tunable photonic ICs that can dramatically cut the cost of metro and long haul optical networks. Using automated semiconductor manufacturing techniques, DigiLens' Wavechips integrate all the functionality of optical subsystems typically made from discrete handmade components into a solid-state, low-power, silicon-based chip. DigiLens products offer significant scalability, size and cost advantages over competing thermo optic and mechanical approaches -- over a hundred Wavechip components can be produced on a single 8" silicon wafer. In addition to its DGE130 Dynamic Gain Equalizer module, the Company is also partnering to develop custom OEM "plug and play" sub-modules, including variable gain flattening filters, channel power monitors, tunable bandpass and blocking filters, and low-cost reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers for the metro access market.
With over 100 patents issued or filed, DigiLens is delivering chips that will become key enablers for upgrade and lower cost system deployment in the access, metro and long haul market segments of the optical telecommunications market. The Company has recently completed installation of a state-of-the-art, eight-inch-capable wafer fabrication line with volume chip production planned for early 2003.
DigiLens, Inc. 615 Palomar Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94085 Tel: 408 737 1100; Fax: 408 737 1190; www.digilens.com