HOUTEN, The Netherlands -- ThreeFive Photonics has introduced the world's smallest optical channel monitor (OCM) on a single chip. The product, named Vela V40D, is for application in optical networks. Vela simultaneously monitors the power of 40 optical channels and makes the results available to network management systems. The ultra-compact chip in a standard-size butterfly package, complemented by the necessary electronics, is delivered in a module smaller than a credit card. It provides space saving of more than 90% when compared to the conventional solutions that it replaces, and a price reduction of 50% or more.Vela answers the need of network operators to monitor the quality of their optical connections. They want to add or drop wavelengths at many locations in metropolitan networks, increasing their flexibility. "Due to the resulting complexity of optical networks, operators want to be able to closely monitor their quality of service", says ThreeFive Photonics Director Sales and Marketing Erik Pennings. "Conventional monitoring solutions are so expensive that they were only used for end-to-end monitoring in long-haul applications. Vela breaks this price barrier. With Vela network operators can afford to monitor the power of wavelengths at individual add and drop points, so that they can configure their networks in a much more flexible way."The Vela OCM can also be used to provide control information for power equalizing purposes. Power differences in signals of adjacent wavelengths can cause crosstalk; equalizers are used to adjust the powers of individual wavelengths to the desired levels. The real-time input about the power levels that module manufacturers require can be provided by the Vela optical channel monitor. Due to the small size and low price of Vela, it is attractive for vendors to integrate a Vela module into their dynamic gain equalizers or self-equalizing EDFAs.ThreeFive Photonics B.V.