Chorum Launches Liquid Crystal Switches

Chorum Launches Liquid Crystal Switches

March 2, 2000

3 Min Read

Chorum Technologies Inc., a provider of advanced all-optical products for ultra-high-capacity dynamic optical networks,announced yesterday the introduction of three breakthrough products in its PolarWave™ optical networking product line. Chorum will begin shipping product in the second quarter of 2000.

The new additions, based on Chorum Technologies' patented optical switching architectures and liquid-crystal technologies, include:

The Fast Add/Drop Switch, a non-mechanical all-optical switch targeted toward next-generation reconfigurable optical add/drop applications.

The Optical Switch 1x2, similar in design to the Fast Add/Drop Switch, but designed for optical restoration, protection, test, and provisioning applications.

The Dynamic Variable Attenuator, a voltage-controlled solid-state optical variable attenuator for broadband or single-channel applications.

By incorporating these products into next-generation optical architectures, optical network providers can supply their customers with a more reliable, higher-performance solution for dynamic opticalnetworks than is available with today's traditional mechanical switching and attenuation technologies.

The Fast Add/Drop and 1x2 Switches are the industry's first to offer low millisecond switching without requiring the use of temperature control (heaters) or expensive, advanced electronics. The switches deliver performance comparable to mechanical optical switching technologies but with the high reliability of non-mechanical technology. They feature no moving parts, low insertion loss, lowpolarization dependent loss (PDL), low cross-talk, and a wide optical wavelength operating window. Various switch sizes, configurations and packaging options are available.

The Dynamic Variable Attenuator (DVA) continuously controls optical signal power to accommodate the dynamic routing and switching of optical signals in the network. As compared to traditionalattenuator products, the DVA features no moving parts, high attenuation resolution, compact size, and low insertion loss.

"Our market introduction of these products redefines the technological parameters by which optical switching solutions should be judged," said Scott Grout, Chorum Technologies president and chiefexecutive officer. "Previously, customers were forced to accept the reliability limitations of mechanical technology, much like the old crossbar central office switches of the 1950s. Now, with new technologies like our liquid-crystal-based switches and attenuators, customers finally have a choice, and they are excited about the potential."

Key applications include:
· Dynamic all-optical add/drop multiplexing
· All-optical switching and routing
· Optical network protection and restoration
· Optical cross-connects
· Dynamic system monitoring
· Multiplexed optical testing
· Power equalization

"Our patented liquid-crystal technologies provide a unique and superior alternative to existing liquid-crystal technologies, which have well-known limitations, including slow switching speeds andpoor performance," said Jian Yu Liu, Chorum Technologies co-founder and chief technology officer.

The products are the latest additions to Chorum Technologies' PolarWave family of optical networking products. In September 1999, Chorum unveiled its PolarWave Optical Slicer™ filters and outlined the company's plans to make additional all-optical routing, switching and processing products commercially available in 2000.

The complete family of PolarWave products includes Optical Slicer™ filters, DWDM Routers, Optical Switches, Optical Processors and Integrated Optical Systems.

With Chorum's products, new optical networks can be built with hundreds of optical channels that are dynamically routed, switched, provisioned, protected and restored all within the fiber-optic layer.Chorum's all-optical solutions eliminate costly and complex optical-to-electrical-to-opticalconversions, increase the reliability and bandwidth of networks and enable the creation of new wavelength services.

Demonstrations of the PolarWave line of products will be performed at Chorum Technologies' booth (#2973) at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference being held in Baltimore March 6-10, 2000.

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