Wavelength tunable lasers in future optical communication systems
Anandarajah, Prince M. and Kaszubowska-Anandarajah, Aleksandra and Maher, Robert D. and Barry, Liam P. (2008) Wavelength tunable lasers in future optical communication systems. In: ICTON 2008 - 10th Anniversary International Conference on Transparent Optical Networks, 22-26 June 2008, Athens, Greece.
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Monolithic tunable lasers (TL) have been an important component in dense wavelength division multiplexed (DWDM) systems mainly because of their ability to reduce inventory costs associated with different part numbers for fixed wavelength distributed feedback (DFB) lasers. Moreover, the use of wavelength agile laser diodes in DWDM networks has gained a lot of interest in recent years, due to emerging new applications such as optical switching and routing, which require fast switching lasers in the nanosecond regime (Coldren et al., 2000). Employment of such lasers as tunable transmitters in wavelength packet switched (WPS) networks is one of the possible applications of these devices. In such systems, the information to be transmitted could be encoded onto a destination dependent wavelength and the routing of traffic could be performed on a packet-by-packet basis. The utilization of TLs in an optical switching and routing environment would put stringent requirements on its performance. This would include increased tuning range, high side mode suppression ratio (SMSR), reduced switching time and excellent wavelength stability. The sampled-grating distributed Bragg reflector (SG DBR) TL proves to be an ideal candidate, due to its large tuning range (40 nm), high output power (10 dBm), high side mode suppression ratio (SMSR > 30 dB) and simplicity of integration.
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