Commencement of mass production of FOL1439 series pump source lasers for Raman amplifiers with outstanding high output power and low electrical power consumption and development of FRL1440 series

March 4, 2019

Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. has started mass production of the FOL1439 series high-output, low power consumption 1480 nm band pump light source lasers. These are key devices for use in Raman amplifiers, demand for which is expected to increase as the telecommunications industry begins the full-scale adoption of ultra-high-speed optical communications at 400 gigabits per second (hereafter referred to as 400 Gbps). Furthermore, we have also developed the FRL1440 series, which makes pumping possible with even higher outputs and lower power consumption.

The newly developed FRL1440 series will be exhibited at OFC/NFOEC 2019, the world’s largest international communications conference and exhibition event that will be held from March 3 in San Diego, California, United States.

Product Background

There has been a dramatic increase in communications traffic in recent years as a result of the expansion of wireless backbones due to the spread of smartphones and as a result of the spread of cloud computing, video streaming and social networks.

Ultra-high-speed optical transmission such as 100 Gbps will be increasingly adopted from now on to support this increase in traffic. In order to improve the optical signal to noise ratio (OSNR)(note 1) in this high-speed transmission, it is expected that there will be increased demand for Raman amplifiers(note 2), which have excellent noise properties. Raman amplifiers use a 1400-1500 nm pump laser as an excitation light source. To achieve even higher performance, there are demands for higher optical output power and lower electrical power consumption.

For applications such as these, Furukawa Electric has recently begun the mass production of the new FOL1439 series, which has outstanding high optical output and low electrical power consumption characteristics. We have also developed the FRL1440 series, for pumping with even higher optical output and lower electrical power consumption.

Product Description

The important characteristics for these products are a high optical output and a low electrical power consumption. In order to achieve this, Furukawa Electric has InP (Indium Phosphide) optical semiconductor chip manufacturing technology and high-accuracy packaging technology that the company has been developing for more than 25 years. In order to realize these new products, Furukawa Electric developed an innovative high output chip structure, technology to efficiently couple the light output in the optical fiber and designed the optimal heat dissipation for the new chip.

Compared with the previous product (FOL1437 series when output is 500 mW), the reduction in the electrical power consumed is 33% on the FOL1439 series and 45% on the FRL1440 series.

Pump light source laser for Raman amplifiers

Pump light source laser for Raman amplifiers

Furthermore, high optical output operation can also be supported as the FOL1439 series has a maximum optical output up to 600mW (Tcase = 70°C) and the FRL1440 has a maximum optical output up to 620mW (Tcase = 70°C).

As it is expected that there will be requirements for even higher output and lower power consumption characteristics in the future, Furukawa Electric will continue to aim for even higher performance enhancements based on the technology in these products.

Comparison of specifications (Typical spec, Comparison in C band)

  Specifications of new products Specifications of conventional product
Type name FRL1440 Series FOL1439 Series FOL1437 Series
Optical output (mW) 600 500 500 500
Power consumption (W) Max 10 Max 7.5 Max 9 Max 13.5
Driving conditions EOL(note 4), Ts = 35°C, Tc = 70°C
Wavelength (nm) 1420 - 1465 nm
Wavelength accuracy (nm) ± 1.5 nm

Future Development

Mass production of the FRL1440 series is scheduled to begin in the second half of FY2019 (Oct.2019-Mar.2020). Furthermore, we will also extend the technology developed for this product to other products. This includes its application to the pump excitation light source for L-band Raman amplifiers, for which the restrictions due to the material properties make high output and low power consumption pumping more difficult to achieve than for C-band products, and also application to pump light source lasers for EDFA(note 3).

Explanation of Terms

(note 1)Optical Signal to Noise Ratio (OSNR): This is defined as the ratio of the optical signal power to the optical noise power. It is an extremely important factor in the maintenance of transmitted signal quality.

(note 2)Raman amplifier: When pumping light is injected into a fiber, Raman scattering occurs in a wavelength region approximately 100 nanometers longer than the excitation light wavelength. When signal light exists in this scattered light region, stimulated emission occurs and the light is amplified, which can be used as an amplifier. Although the excitation efficiency is lower than that of an EDFA(Note 3), Raman amplifiers have a wider band and amplification is possible within an arbitrary wavelength region.

(note 3)EDFA: Abbreviation for Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier. An EDFA is an optical amplifier in which erbium is added to the core of an optical fiber. These are currently used widely in wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) systems. Wavelengths around 1550 nanometers can be amplified with pumping light of 980 nanometers or 1480 nanometers.

(note 4)EOL: Abbreviation for End of Life. This is the life of a product.

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 967.3 billion (approximately USD 8.7B) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.