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Zarlink claims its new lasers boosts performance of high-speed optical equipment

Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. today launched a new line of 850-nm oxide-confined VCSELs (Vertical Cavity Surface-Emitt...


March 26, 2003  


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Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. today launched a new line of 850-nm oxide-confined VCSELs (Vertical Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers) that the company says improves the performance of optical equipment by generating a light beam that overcomes the effects of current and temperature.

With traditional VCSEL devices, fluctuations in current or temperature cause changes to the shape and angle of the light beam emitted from the laser. Beam shape variations outside the VCSEL — in the optical far-field region — create fluctuations in the amount of light that can be captured by and coupled to an optical fiber.

To compensate for unpredictable light levels, current VCSEL solutions typically require customized fiber connectors that are equipped with external lenses to create a stable and uniform beam, and focus the light into the fiber.

The key component in Zarlink’s ZL 60001/2 line of VCSEL devices is a patent-pending optical system that minimizes variations in the optical far field when current and temperature change.

As a result, the VCSEL achieves a high “coupling efficiency” and can be used with standardized fiber connectors, eliminating the need for customized connectors with lenses. The high and stable coupling efficiency also minimizes the risk of mode partition noise, the company said.

Zarlink’s ZL60001/2 VCSEL devices operate at up to 3.1 Gb/s (gigabits per second), and are designed for equipment operating at short (740- to 920-nm) wavelengths. The devices are targeted at Gigabit Ethernet, Infiniband, Fiber Channel, ATM (asynchronous transfer mode), and other communications applications.


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