Furukawa Electric Announces Sampling of Micro ITLA For 400 Gb/s Optical Coherent Transmission

September 19, 2013

ECOC 2013, Booth #525, London, September 23, 2013

Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. has developed a micro Integratable Tunable Laser Assembly (ITLA), a key component in ultra high-speed optical digital coherent transmission devices operating at 400 gigabits per second (400 Gb/s). This transmission device is now being introduced globally with an initial sampling and full production planned in the near future.

The new micro ITLA product will be exhibited at the European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communication (ECOC) to be held September 22-26 in London, United Kingdom.

Background of the Development

Global network traffic continues to grow at a phenomenal rate. The telecommunications industry is accelerating the deployment of 100 Gb/s, or even faster 400 Gb/s, transmission systems, and converging on optical digital coherent technology. These new systems use multi-level modulation techniques such as 16 bit Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) and quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK) to improve the special efficiency of the network.

Contents of the Development

The micro ITLA is a laser light source that has been made smaller and consumes less electric power, while complying with the same Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) standard as the conventional ITLA. Furukawa has developed the micro ITLA with narrower linewidth, a finer wavelength grid and better wavelength stability, which are required for 400 Gb/s digital coherent transmission and flexible grid in the elastic optical network technology.

Narrower linewidth is required in 16 QAM multi-level modulation, which is a modulation format candidate to be used in 400 Gb/s digital coherent transmission, because higher bit rates requires higher coherency to improve transmission quality. The new ITLA achieves less than 300 kHz of linewidth through optimization of the structure and processing of the laser chip. In addition, the new ITLA enables 0.1 GHz flexible grid intervals, contributing to further improvements in spectral efficiency.

Using its expertise in laser driver circuits and digital circuits, Furukawa has developed technologies for manufacturing the micro ITLAs enabling a size reduction to 37.5 x 20 x 7.5 mm, half the size of a conventional ITLA. In addition, power consumption was reduced by 20% in comparison with that of conventional ITLAs, driven by performance improvements in the laser chip.

Photo of the micro ITLA

Major specifications of the developed product

Item Specifications of micro ITLAs Specifications of conventional ITLAs
Wave length variable width 1528 - 1564 nm (C-band)
1570 - 1607 nm (L-band)
1528 - 1564 nm (C-band)
1570 - 1607 nm (L-band)
Optical output 16 dBm 16 dBm
Linewidth < 300 kHz < 500 kHz
Side mode suppression ratio > 40 dB > 40 dB
Average relative intensity noise < -140 dB/Hz < -140 dB/Hz
Wave length stability < ±1.5 GHz < ±2.5 GHz
Minimum grid 0.1 GHz 25 GHz
Power consumption 5 W 6.5 W
Size 37.5 x 20 x 7.5 mm 74 x 30.5 x 10.5 mm