Variable Optical Attenuators (VOA)


DiCon’s MEMS variable optical attenuator is a high quality VOA based on DiCon’s industry proven MEMS mirror technology. These operate by collecting and collimating light from an input fiber and then reflecting this light off of an ultra-stable and reliable, single-axis DiCon MEMS mirror. The reflected light is directed to the output fiber and a precise level of attenuation is achieved by partially misaligning the light being coupled to the output fiber. DiCon’s MEMS VOAs are GR-1221 qualified, and their high quality, long life, and high reliability, as well as their ability to be customized to the application, make them ideal for either OEM or test & measurement applications.

DiCon Variable Optical Attenuators (VOA)

Advantages of DiCon's MEMS VOA

  • High Quality and Reliability
  • Excellent Optical Performance
  • Lifetime > 10 Billion Cycles
  • Proven DiCon MEMS Mirror Technology (Since 2002)
  • Available in SMF-28, HI1060, PM980, 780HP, PM780, 630HP, PM630, 460HP, etc.

List of MEMS VOA Components


Precision Variable Attenuator

DiCon’s Precision Variable Attenuator operates by using a neutral density filter placed in the light path. This neutral density filter varies in attenuation along its length and a high precision stepper motor is used to move the filter to the requested attenuation level. This type of fiber optic attenuator is ideal for multimode fiber applications because the neutral density filter attenuates all modes equally, and results in stable attenuation and linear response.

DiCon Variable Optical Attenuators (VOA)

DiCon Variable Optical Attenuators (VOA)

VOA Technology Comparison Matrix (SMF-28 Fiber)

MEMS Precision Variable
Max Attenuation 40 dB 60 dB
Excess Loss 0.8 dB max. 0.8 dB max.
Resolution Analog (1) or 0.01 dB (2) 0.01 dB max.
Durability 1 billion cycles min. (3)
Standard Size DiCon Variable Optical Attenuators (VOA) DiCon Variable Optical Attenuators (VOA)
Qualification GR-1221 (3)
Control Method Analog Voltage RS-232 or I²C (4) RS232, I²C, USB
Response Time 2 ms max. 170 ms min., 2600 ms max.

1. MEMS VOA components have no minimum resolution, as they are analog controlled devices.
2. MEMS VOA modules have a 0.01 dB resolution.
3. Intended for test and measurement applications.
4. MEMS VOA components use direct analog voltage, while MEMS VOA modules use RS-232 or I2C.