Wednesday, May 3, 2006

JDSU Announces Breakthrough in Photonic Power Efficiency

JDSU reported a world record in the conversion efficiency of laser light into electrical power -- its 3 volt and 5 volt gallium arsenide (GaAs) Photovoltaic Power Converter (PPC) has achieved optical-to-electrical conversion efficiency greater than 50%.

The company said this breakthrough would further enable fiber optics to replace copper for power delivery where isolation from the surrounding environment is essential. Photonic Power is especially beneficial for cost- effectively driving electronic devices operating in high-voltage, RF/EMI and magnetic fields where traditional copper options are more complex or impractical.

An efficiency of 50% pushes the boundaries of the maximum theoretical limit for photovoltaic power conversion. This improvement enables more power- hungry electronics such as transducers, transceivers and sensors to be powered over fiber. The higher power efficiency also permits remote electronics to be powered by fiber over longer distances such as tower-mounted installations for cellular and digital TV relay stations. Other applications are numerous including underground exploration and medical applications where the isolated power allows the operation of devices inside strong magnetic fields such as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).

"With this breakthrough conversion efficiency, JDSU is better positioned to deliver solutions to the medical, industrial sensor, and wireless communications industries," said David Gudmundson, vice president of corporate development for JDSU. "We believe that the delivery of power over fiber can provide strategic and competitive advantages to a variety of applications that require isolated power and are looking for copper wire alternatives."

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