Furukawa Electric Receives “Okochi Memorial Production Prize”
- Prize received in recognition of developing variable wavelength laser modules for high-capacity digital coherent optical telecommunications systems -

February 13, 2018

In recognition of its “development of high-power/narrow-width/wideband variable wavelength laser modules for high-capacity digital coherent optical telecommunications systems,” Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. has been awarded the 64th Okochi Memorial Production Prize from the Okochi Memorial Foundation. The award ceremony will be held on Friday, March 23 of this year at the Industry Club of Japan Building.

Development Background

In recent years, the amount of telecommunications traffic in core telecommunications networks and between data centers has been increasing throughout the world, with the spread of smartphones, cloud computing, online video distribution, and social networks. In response to such increasing traffic, companies continue to use the optical digital coherent(note 1) method to introduce 100 Gbps/200 Gbps high-capacity transmission systems, and require ITLAs(note 2) —core components of signal light sources—that offer narrower line widths and higher power.

Development Overview

The ITLA for which Furukawa Electric received this prize features a narrower line width (100 kHz), wider bandwidth (1530 to 1625 nm), and smaller size (37.5 mm x 20 mm), and was developed using a range of technologies including optical integration circuit formation using indium phosphide compound semiconductor laser atomic level crystal growth/processing technology, implementation technology using proprietary resin adhesives, and low noise circuit formation technology. Furukawa Electric was also able to increase yields, improve productivity, and provide stable supply by further optimizing and improving production facilities during the mass production process. Regular efforts to improve quality also resulted in extremely high customer satisfaction with regard to quality and delivery date. As a result, Furukawa Electric products have reached the top share in the world, and are helping to develop telecommunications societies on a global scale.



The Okochi Prize

The Okochi Prize is awarded by the Okochi Memorial Foundation (founded in 1954 to memorialize the achievements of Dr. Masatoshi Okochi in academia and industry), in recognition of remarkable achievements in industrial engineering, industrial technology, and the research and implementation of production systems, etc. in Japan, which have greatly contributed to academic progress and industrial development. Furukawa Electric has received the Production Prize twice and the Technology Prize once in the past.

(note 1)Optical digital coherent:
A transmission method that uses the optical phase (wave status) for improved resistance to signal deterioration and noise. Digital signal processing is used to detect optical phase information in order to transmit a large amount of information over a low bandwidth.

(note 2) ITLA (Integrable Tunable Laser Assembly):
A variable wavelength laser module mounted to a control circuit board. ITLA is equipped with functionality to communicate with external interfaces, allowing users to control operations (such as wavelength variation) simply by entering commands.

About Furukawa Electric Group

Furukawa Electric (TSE; 5801, ISIN; JP3827200001) Group started business in 1884, when its copper-smelting facility and wire manufacturing factory was established. Since then Furukawa Electric has become pioneers in the latest technologies by addressing diverse technological issues. Furukawa Electric has released products in a number of areas, including telecommunications, electronics, automobiles, and construction, with the three types of materials it works with at their core, namely, optics, plastics, and metals. Many of these products have attained the top global market share, and all of its products have contributed to society in numerous business areas. Furukawa Electric reported consolidated revenues of JPY 843.3 billion (approximately USD 7.8B) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.