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OFS and VIAVI unveil collaboration on Bismuth-doped fiber amplifier

OFS and Viavi Solutions Inc. announced they have collaborated on the first test and measurement focused amplifier based on a new OFS Bismuth-doped fiber. The OFS fiber is the first to be produced at sufficient volumes to meet growing demand for 400 GbE and 800 GbE test applications worldwide. At OFC 2022, OFS will showcase Bismuth fiber at Booth #3939, and VIAVI will showcase the MAP Bismuth Doped Fiber Amplifier (mOFA-C1) at Booth #3727.

Communications and cloud networks are experiencing aggressive growth in demand, forcing providers to upgrade speeds faster than previously forecasted. Transport networks and hyperscale data centers are rapidly introducing 400 GbE, and the development of 800 GbE is accelerating. Among the many challenges being encountered are physical limitations impacting volume manufacturing and the ability of test systems to deliver the required optical power in the O-band. Doping allows for light amplification via stimulated emission, but achieving efficient, broad wavelength amplification that supports the entire O-band has been a challenge.

“It has been almost 30 years since the launch of Erbium-doped fibers, which began the current era of fiber amplification,” said David DiGiovanni, CTO and President of OFS Labs. “At OFC 2022, OFS is pleased to introduce the next milestone: Bismuth-doped fiber.”

Advantages of Bismuth doping and amplifier design include: the capability to broadly amplify in the O-band (1260-1360 nm) occupied by 100 GbE, 400 GbE and 800 GbE; and production of fiber at scale as the host matrix is almost the same as single-mode fiber. VIAVI and OFS collaborated closely during development of the mOFA-C1, including design, prototype and feasibility, with particular focus on maximizing the gain, power and wavelength coverage to amplify the above signals with a single amplifier. This new fiber dramatically simplified integration into VIAVI’s existing C- and L-band amplifier manufacturing processes.

“We are excited to work with OFS to launch the ecosystem for Bismuth-doped fiber, a new inflection point in optical network technology,” said Tom Fawcett, Vice President and General Manager, Lab & Production, VIAVI. “Based on our engagement with network equipment manufacturers and service providers, the industry needs to continually improve the ability to manufacture technologies up to 800 GbE. Bismuth fiber stands ready to meet that demand.”

CT Bureau

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