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DiCon Fiberoptics Announces the World's Smallest MEMS 1x36 Optical Switch

January 12, 2006

Richmond, CA – DiCon Fiberoptics Inc., a leading manufacturer of fiberoptic components, modules, and test instruments, is announcing availability of the world's smallest MEMS 1x36 Optical Switch Module. The new module will be shown at OFC/NFOEC 2006, at the Anaheim Convention Center, March 7-9, 2006. The 1x36 Switch is based on DiCon's MEMS 1x8 Optical Switch component. Five of the MEMS 1x8 switch components are configured to provide a compact, cost-effective 1x36 switch. Each MEMS 1x8 switch component 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 eight input/output fibers. The MEMS 1x8 Switch component features low insertion loss, low power consumption, excellent repeatability, and C and L band operation. It is a non-latching device that acts as a shutter when the electrical power is removed.

The 1x36 Optical Switch Module is packaged in an extremely compact housing that includes electronics to control the operation of the 1x36 switch, over the customer's choice of serial interfaces (I2C, RS232, or RS485). The MEMS 1x36 Optical Switch offers low insertion loss (< 1.5 dB), excellent return loss and crosstalk isolation, low power consumption (less than 300 mW), and support for high optical power levels (500 mW). The module has a form factor of 75mm x 55mm x 12.5mm (3" x 2.2" x 0.5").

MEMS 1x36 Optical Switch Module,
shown with MEMS 1x8 Switch component

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 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. The 1xN Switch Modules are particularly useful as selector switches for optical power monitoring and fiber-scanning architectures..

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DiCon Fiberoptics Announces the World's Smallest MEMS 1x36 Optical Switch