DiCon Fiberoptics Announces New MEMS MxN Matrix Switch Modules

February 27, 2006

Richmond, CA – DiCon Fiberoptics, Inc., a leading manufacturer of fiberoptic components, modules, and test equipment, is announcing a new line of MEMS MxN Matrix Switch Modules. The new modules will be shown at OFC/NFOEC 2006, at the Anaheim Convention Center (March 7-9, 2006), in 8x8, 16x16, and 24x24 configurations. The 24x24 Matrix Switch Module is based on DiCon's MEMS 1x24 Optical Switch component. 48 of the MEMS 1x24 switch components are used in a fully non-blocking (strict sense) two-stage configuration. 24 MEMS 1x24 switches provide fan-out from the 24 input fibers, and are fully interconnected to 24 MEMS 24x1 switches that provide fan-in to the 24 output fibers. Each MEMS 1x24 switch is based on a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) chip, as used in DiCon's family of MEMS 1xN Switch components. Each MEMS chip consists of a "3D" electrically movable mirror on a silicon support. Voltages applied to the MEMS chip cause the mirror to rotate on two independent axes, which changes the coupling of light between a common fiber and 24 input/output fibers. The MEMS 1xN Switch components feature low insertion loss, low power consumption, excellent repeatability, C and L band operation, and an extremely compact form factor. They are non-latching devices that act as shutters when electrical power is removed.

The MEMS 8x8, 16x16, and 24x24 Matrix Switch Modules use new housing designs that incorporate a modular fiber-tray for reduced integration time and manufacturing cost. The modules include electronics to control the operation of each switch component, as well as the overall state of the switch matrix, over the customer's choice of serial interfaces (I2C, RS232, or RS485). Evaluation software allows drag-and-drop set-up and tear-down of optical switch paths. Using discrete MEMS switches, the MEMS MxN Matrix Switch Modules offer low insertion loss (< 1.5 to 1.7 dB, depending on configuration), excellent return loss and crosstalk isolation, low power consumption (less than 500 mW), and support for high optical power levels (500 mW). The modules have form factors of 150mm x 150mm x 25mm (6" x 6" x 1") for the 8x8, 260mm x 150mm x 25mm (10.5" x 6" x 1") for the 16x16, and 260mm x 200mm x 25mm (10.5" x 8" x 1") for the 24x24.

MEMS 8x8, 16x16, and 24x24 Matrix Switch Modules

DiCon's 1xN and MxN Optical Switch Modules can be implemented in a broad range of sizes and configurations, using varying quantities and types of MEMS 1xN switch components. The three housing sizes shown above can accommodate any MxN configuration with a total number of ports (M+N) of 16, 32, and 48, respectively. Our modular housing design and use of module-level integration enables rapid development of custom configurations for Optical Cross-Connect (OXC) and optical switching functions, for telecom, defense, and other industrial and research applications. Additional functionality such as optical attenuation, power management and monitoring, multi-casting, and splitting/filtering can also be incorporated, at customer request.

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