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OFC 2022: Effect Photonics acquires coherent optical signal processing business from Viasat

09 Mar 2022

Plus yet more notable product and system news from this week’s optical communications expo in San Diego.

This week at the Optical Fiber Conference, Effect Photonics (Effect), a developer of integrated optical communication products has announced that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire the coherent optical digital signal processing and forward error correction technology as well as a highly experienced engineering team from global communications company, Viasat.

Viasat is a long-established player in DSP and FEC technology. With eight generations of design IP, they have a proven track record of delivering successful field deployments. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With this acquisition, Effect says it “will now own the entire coherent technology stack of all optical functions, including a high-performance tunable laser, together with DSP and FEC.” This will enable the company to deliver on its ambition to make high performance coherent communications solutions widely accessible and affordable.

The transaction is expected to achieve the following:

  • Effect will be able to optimize the complete solution for any application addressing both existing challenges and new possibilities.
  • With full ownership of the key optical, DSP and FEC functions, Effect can offer seamless integration, cost efficiency and security of supply.
  • Effect will be an independent vendor able to offer a full portfolio of building blocks such as the tunable laser and DSP, and/or complete solutions, increasing the choice reduced by recent mergers and acquisitions in the industry.

Effect has also secured an additional $20 million in Series-C funding bringing the total to $63M. Additionally, pursuant to the DSP acquisition agreement, Viasat will be joining Effect’s Supervisory Board and hold a minority interest in the company.

James Regan, CEO of Effect, commented, “This is a significant step in accelerating our ambition to make coherent optical communications ubiquitous and further drive our product portfolio growth. With all the recent changes in the industry landscape, this means that we are the only independent vendor able to deliver both the active optical components and the DSP.”

Scintil Photonics, a fabless company developing and marketing silicon photonics integrated circuits, has launched a prototype III-V Augmented Silicon Photonic Integrated Circuit at OFC 2022.

This is a single chip solution comprising all active and passive components made from standard silicon photonics available in commercial foundries, with III-V optical amplifiers/lasers integrated on the backside of advanced silicon photonic circuits.

Scintil says this IC is designed to boost communications in data centers, High-Performance Computing, and 5G networks, prime users of optical transceivers. The optical transceiver market is expected to achieve sales of $20.9 billion in 2026.

Sylvie Menezo, president and CEO commented, “The close collaboration with our commercial foundry was key to achieving this fabrication milestone, resulting in unprecedented levels of integration and performance. Scintil is already working with three leading edge customers; and it is fundamental to them that we can prototype and produce in commercial high-volume silicon foundries, using multi-customer standard processes.”

NEC and OFS Optics have reported at OFC on the field test results of their facility perimeter intrusion detection system. This relies on a combination of distributed-vibration-sensing technology and AcoustiSens Rayleigh backscattering-enhanced-fiber with deployed telecom fiber cables as sensing backhaul. Various intrusive activities, including walking and jumping, are detected at greater than 100 feet (30.5 meters) from the perimeter of the cable.

The use of AcoustiSens backscattering-enhanced fiber enables the use of existing telecom fiber to backhaul signals from remote sensing installations. The fiber is engineered to provide an order of magnitude increase in backscattering over telecom-grade fiber.

The field trial was conducted over a tier-1 carrier’s metro central office (CO) network. The deployment was comprised of a distributed acoustic sensing system located inside of the CO, connected to 38 km of standard metro field fiber, and three hybrid sections of telecom-grade singlemode AcoustiSens fiber cable.

Lumenisity, a hollow core cable solutions developer, has announced a new generation of hollowcore fiber, called DNANF. The company says this technology “has the lowest attenuation of any hollowcore fiber reported to date, and in doing so surpasses the attenuation of conventional germanium-doped single-mode fiber in the O and C bands.

With attenuations of <0.22 dB per km at 1310nm and <0.18 dB per km at 1550nm, the new fiber technology has achieved the lowest loss ever recorded for any optical fiber in the O band and comparable or better than conventional single mode fiber in the C band.

These results are thought to be the first of this kind reported. More information can be found in the OFC 2022 paper entitled “0.174 dB/km Hollow Core Double Nested Antiresonant Nodeless Fiber”.

Tony Pearson, VP Sales & Marketing at Lumenisity said, “Our latest innovation continues the realization and productization of fiber and cabled solutions that offer new networking tools previously unavailable with conventional silica based single-mode products. This achievement underpins Lumenisity’s goal to deliver the most advanced hollowcore fiber optic cable solutions for our customers and partners.”

LaCroix Precision OpticsABTechFirst Light ImagingAlluxaCeNing Optics Co LtdUniverse Kogaku America Inc.LASEROPTIK GmbH
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