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Oclaro samples lithium niobate modulator for single-carrier 400G networks

Optical components specialist Oclaro is shipping early samples of a 400G high-bandwidth lithium niobate (LiNbO3) external modulator, a key optical component for the deployment of next-generation networks based on single-wavelength 400G transmission.

The most advanced optical systems are boasting port capacities of up to 400G. While in the past such systems were limited to using two wavelengths to achieve this, it is now possible to achieve 400G capacity on a single wavelength, making it easier than ever to deliver the increased bandwidth that telecom operators are demanding. By eliminating the need to use two wavelengths, Oclaro’s new 400G external modulator will help networking companies to more quickly design and test next-generation, high-speed networks that deliver the highest level of performance and reliability.

“In order to scale to 400G speeds and higher in the future, optical networking companies are improving spectral efficiency and lowering the cost per bit in fibre transmission systems, something that is not economical with two wavelengths,” said Adam Carter, chief commercial officer at Oclaro, Inc.  “With its new 400G modulator, Oclaro is once again at the forefront of optical network innovation, delivering the components and modulation techniques that will enable customers to simplify and accelerate the development of these ultra-fast networks.”

Oclaro’s new lithium niobate external modulator is designed to enable 400G and beyond speeds on a single wavelength or carrier. This device is a high electro-optic bandwidth polarisation-multiplexed quad parallel Mach-Zehnder (PM-QMZ) modulator that integrates into a hermetic package an input beam splitter, four Mach-Zehnder modulators configured for I-Q modulation, a polarisation combiner, and monitor photodiodes for power and bias control.

Key features of the 400G lithium niobate external modulator include 3dB electro-optic bandwidth exceeding 35GHz, very smooth optical response up to 50GHz enabling a symbol rate of up to 64Gbaud, extinction ratio above 25dB to enable complex modulation formats, and insertion loss below 13dB for high efficiency.


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