Bookham introduces ultra small 40Gb/s Mach Zehnder modulator chip

Bookham has announced that it has developed and demonstrated an ultra small, 5mm 40Gb/s Optical Differential Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (ODQPSK) modulator chip, implemented through proprietary indium phosphide Mach Zehnder (InP MZ) technology.  Bookham will combine this functionality with its highly successful tunable laser in new products specifically for use in the growing 40Gb/s market.  The reduced size InP MZ platform will allow Bookham to offer 40Gb/s products in smaller footprints compared to existing 40Gb/s offerings employing larger optics.

The Bookham InP TL5000 Wideband Tunable iTLA has been proven for use in both 10 and 40Gb/s systems.  Bookham is now combining the tunable laser with 40Gb/s MZ modulator chips from the company's UK 3" wafer fab to demonstrate innovation in the 40Gb/s application space.

"The capability to offer high bit rate performance with our fully qualified, proven tunable laser and InP MZ modulator is crucial as vendors continue to evolve towards 40Gb/s networks," said PLM Director, Adam Price.  "40Gb/s roll out is still hampered by prohibitive pricing as we see 40Gb/s systems costing in excess of 10 times a 10Gb/s system. With our vertically integrated InP core technology and strength in the 10Gb/s market, we are able to drive significant disruption in order to enable 40Gb/s systems to be adopted at a cost point that allows widespread adoption.

"The InP MZ platform has the flexibility to implement a range of modulation schemes at 40Gb/s, but it is our vision that ODQPSK, in which we have significant Intellectual Property, is the modulation format to allow the correct price positioning at 40Gb/s, and the scalability to 100Gb/s.  ODQPSK also allows 40Gb/s to be deployed onto a 50GHz grid, and demonstrates higher resilience to polarisation mode dispersion,"
continued Price.

"We have a proven InP capability to allow parallel modulator chip architectures to be implemented for the 40Gb/s approach and have produced an InP ODQPSK chip structure that is only 5mm long. Traditional LiNbO3 technology, which uses discrete modulators coupled together to form parallel structures, cannot compete with production simplicity and footprint size," concluded Price.