Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fujitsu and Heinrich Hertz Institut Develop Ultra High-Speed Optical Switch

Fujitsu Laboratories and Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institut(HHI) have developed an ultra high-speed optical switch that uses nonlinear optical fiber to reduce optical amplitude noise, which degrades the quality of optical signals when they are transmitted.

The researchers said conventional approaches to the problem of optical amplitude noise have been to convert optical signals into electrical signals, electrically eliminate the noise impact, and then reconvert the signal back to an optical signal. However, for long-distance data transmission, this method requires much power for optical signal amplification and conversion to electrical signals. The new technology developed by Fujitsu and HHI employs an ultra high-speed optical switch they developed that is capable of processing optical signals in less than a picosecond. By controlling the power gain of the optical parametric amplification effect from the optical signals, raising it when signals are weak and lowering it when signals are strong, the switch reduces optical noise without the need to convert optical signals into electrical signals.

Employing this technology, suppression of optical amplitude noise using a 107 Gbps phase modulated ultra high-speed signal was successfully verified. In addition, in a data transmission test across 320 km, it was verified that data quality after transmission could be received with roughly the equivalent of its quality prior to transmission.

The researchers anticipate that this new technology can be applied to optical regeneration, which is a key technology for next-generation ultra high-speed photonic networks.