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Xerox develops technology to bring benefits of fiber optics to small business, homes

(Source: Newstream) -- Although the information superhighway is here, the "off-ramps" are more like one-lane dirt r...


March 26, 2003  


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(Source: Newstream) — Although the information superhighway is here, the “off-ramps” are more like one-lane dirt roads because of the high cost of routing fiber optic networks that last mile. However, a new technology from Xerox Corp. could help change that, by assisting the effort to bring affordable, high-capacity fiber optics directly to businesses and even homes for the first time.

According to Xerox, the technology breaks the bandwidth barrier that exists today by integrating an Optical MEMS (Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems) photonic switch with planar light circuits on a single silicon chip small enough to fit on a fingertip — a first ever achievement.

The new switch promises to provide rapid delivery of optical services by providing the functionality of a Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (R-OADM), a routing device that’s commonly used today but is 10 to 100 times as large and costly.

“Optical networks based on our technology could go way beyond delivering on-demand DVD-quality videos in homes,” said Joel Kubby, a technical manager at Xerox’s Wilson Center for Research and Technology in Webster, N.Y. “Our switch could help usher in a new era of undreamed-of Internet applications, changing the way we do business, seek information and find entertainment.”


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