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lightbridge
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lightbridge,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:46:33 PM
re: ECOC: Back to the Lab?
Why is a startup like Mintera spending huge money (forty 40Gb/s transponders) towards the world record race? Shouldn't they hibernate until 40Gb/s picks up? It appears, they still have the Bell Labs mentality of their founders, which might be good for the scientific community, but is a problem when you have limited resources.

lightbridge
light4me
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light4me,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:46:32 PM
re: ECOC: Back to the Lab?
I am a bit tired of reading that VCSELs are cheaper than DFBs. Since most of the cost of the modules on the market come from the box (usually gold-plated), the TEC, the optical isolator,... I challenge anybody to demonstrate that what the customer buys (a packaged laser) is cheaper in the VCSEL flavor than in the DFB flavor (of course we are talking ~1.55 microns).
eer2000
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eer2000,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:46:28 PM
re: ECOC: Back to the Lab?
Without having done a detailed cost estimate, here are a couple areas where VCSELs could be cheaper than DFBs:

1) bar sort: VCSELSs could be fully characterized on wafer; DFBs must be singulated into bars, stacked and loaded into a fixture, and coated, unstacked, and tested a bar at a time

2) optical train: VCSELs have a larger, more circular optical mode than DFBs, which could significantly reduce optical train packaging costs, especially if a reliable passive alignment scheme is used (which may not be possible for DFBs due to small mode size)
LightBeating
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LightBeating,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:46:27 PM
re: ECOC: Back to the Lab?
eer,

Agreed. The chip itself of course costs nothing, VCSEL or otherwise. Testing and packaging are where the costs are (apart from the other materials themselves), and VCSELS might end up having a slight advantage there. On the other hand, they lack the power. Still, I find the progress on VCSELs more exciting than the other stuff talked about in the article: more distance*bandwidth records, stuff like SOA or fiber based wavelength converters: old concepts that never really worked. Cheap tunable lasers will give you the wavelength flexibility you need if you ever need it, wavelength converters will never make it as a technology.

Personally, I don't see much exciting "fundamental" science these days. Nothing like the EDFA, and even that was recycling of very old stuff done in the early 60's. Fiber optics is a mature field. There's still plenty of room for clever engineering, but new science? Nah!...

LB
st0
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st0,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:46:23 PM
re: ECOC: Back to the Lab?
(1) not all the dfb are made equal. some can be tested on wafer as well.
(2) with recent lens development, the beam profile can be corrected without too much cost.

Give a year or so, DFB is the way to go..my 2 cents.
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Regarding the University research, it is sad that corp long term research is almost extinquished.

The deficiency of the university research is that poor development and understanding of fabrication process. The university established so call research "product", usually need substaintial development and many interation in order to become product (sometimes, complete re-vemp). Either due to lack of understanding by the industry about the fundamental of the research, or due to lack of practical experience of the university academics. Being said that, some of the academics who defected from the corp. research were the best.

On the other hand, some of the university IP office is really scary. You got have strong heart to sign those 10 point font 4 - 6 pages NDA... worse than licencing the patent.. particularly, you not even know if the stuff is going to do the trick you want it to... (some of patent application just "idea"...let's not go there). All of them want you get long term commitment, even down payment, before even talk to you...

--st

Unfocused
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Unfocused,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:46:21 PM
re: ECOC: Back to the Lab?

Why are these Minteras guys spending on 40 Gb/s instead of hibernating ...

---

I spoke to 3 of the VPs at OFC 2002. They seemed to be aware of avoiding to spend too much like OptiMight supposedly did on their MCI fieldtrial. Without having seen the ECOC article, I guess they are just squeezing the same loop as they had at OFC (FC7) + adding the FEC which is not too costly when you hibernate anyway.
LegoAss
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LegoAss,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:46:16 PM
re: ECOC: Back to the Lab?
Industry pays for tradeshows and not academia. If the show shifts towards academic research, industry (and their money) will go elsewhere like NFOEC and/or Supercomm.


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