There is a huge array of products being launched and demonstrated at ECOC 2018 in Rome this month and it will take a very dedicated delegate to see them all. So, we’ve highlighted just a few to give a flavour of what to expect.
TEST & MEASUREMENT
There’s no point in investing in new equipment and infrastructure if it’s not possible to test how well it’s working or diagnose problems when it goes wrong. Needless to say, test and measurement devices figure large at ECOC 2018 with the latest devices and technologies on display.
AFL is showcasing a world first with its FOCIS Duel fibre inspection probe. It features two optical ports, one optimised for fast subjective patch cord end-face inspection, with the second port supporting all the comprehensive features of AFL’s FOCIS Flex inspection system. In addition, the FOCIS Duel features female ‘plug-in’ connector adapters, which facilitate rapid end-face inspection operation, and the LC adapters mechanically accommodate duplex LC connectors which are commonly used in data centres. AFL is on booth 225.
On the subject of data centres, Deviser’s new AE3100 unit is designed specifically for verifying optical fibres in high-capacity data centres. The AE3100 combines a fibre inspection scope, visual fault locator, optical power meter and OTDR in one unit, making it the only tool required for testing fibre in the data centres. This handheld unit can be configured with both single mode and multi-mode options, and has a 7-inch touchscreen ideal for viewing the smallest details in the OTDR trace. The AE3100 is also designed for measuring short distances, which is well suited to the large number of short-distance fibres employed in data centres. Deviser is on booth 441.
With the number and complexity of optical components rising rapidly, the need for accurate component testing is keeping pace. General Photonics’ OCA-1000 is a multi-channel optical component analyser that simultaneously measures insertion loss, polarization dependent loss and optical power on multiple optical paths. The measurement is based on the Mueller Matrix method, which offers fast characterisation of wavelength dependent optical parameters that are critical in today’s optical communication systems. The base model can have up to 8 channels. Custom 8 or 16-channel expansion units can be added to increase the system capacity to up to 40 channels. General Photonics is on booth 444.
As optical shuffles emerge as an avenue for more data to be transmitted in smaller form factors, it is becoming ever more important to ensure that any misrouted fibres in patch cords are identified early in the production process to reduce the cost of labour required to re-terminate those cables. OptoTest’s Polarity Analyzer, the OP415, has 24 individual sources and detectors that allow for fast and simple polarity testing of many multifibre devices. Controlling OP415s using software allows integration of polarity testing into the same procedures as ILRL tests and allows for higher channel count shuffles to be easily tested. OptoTest can be found on booth 218.
Nanosystec, which offers customised systems for high-precision micro assembly and micro production technology, will be exhibiting its NanoWeld production stations, which aligns and attaches optoelectronic components with minimum shift. The fast, active alignment uses any feedback signal such as optical power, beam pointing or PER. It also features an accurate laser welding process with minimum shift. nanosystec offers coaxial and linear configurations. The company’s NanoTest solution characterises silicon photonics wafers. Precise stages shuttle the wafer into position for electrical probing and the subsequent optical alignment is performed rapidly. The wafer can be tested at different temperatures, and machine vision algorithms support the fast detection of the device structures and calculate the best starting position. Nanosystec is on booth 461.
With FTTH rollouts gathering pace across Europe, demand for access technology is growing rapidly and vendors at ECOC 2018 have responded with a range of products.
One such is ECAD Gmbh, which is showing its OAP (Open Access Point), one of the smallest fiber-optic network termination systems. The OAP can be integrated in every type of FTTH network, irrespective of whether it is active ethernet or GPON. As a neutral network termination, the OAP is the ideal technology for connecting a fibre-optic CPE and helps to access every house and every apartment at low cost. It is a modular system and available with IP module and/or TV out. ECAD Gmbh can be found at booth 478.
FIBRE OPTIC CABLES AND CONNECTORS
Demand for cabling and the associated fittings and tools is growing rapidly as network operators across the globe replace their copper backbones with fibre. Reflecting this demand, everything from optical connectors through splicers to duct tracers will be on show at ECOC 2018, with demonstrations aplenty.
Following its launch in 2017, the CS connector has enjoyed good uptake amongst transceiver manufacturers, especially those working towards QSFP-DD, OSFP, COBO form factors. At ECOC 2018 Senko Advanced Components is keen to demonstrate the benefits of deploying its CS connector in data centres. On the stand there will be a mock-up of a 256 fibre (128 channel) fully managed 1U patch panel with sliding trays as well as a 320-fibre flat panel. Channels can be patched individually and have good resilience as the connector is based on a standard 1.25mm LC type ferrule. For backplane and trunking, the MPOPLUS Mini will feature. Senko is on booth 312.
Inno Instrument will be demonstrating its core-alignment fusion splicer VIEW7. With the world’s highest fibre image magnification rate, it is designed to meet the demands of users working in extreme and unpredictable environments. View 7 is equipped with user-friendly GUI on a high-resolution colour LCD allowing first time splicer users to easily connect optical fibre. By double-tapping the screen, users can see and zoom the optical fibre up to 520 times. View 7 is designed, engineered and manufactured in Korea, ensuring premium quality and careful attention to detail combined with technological innovation and reliability. Inno Instrument is on booth 213.
For tracing microduct and other tube blockages, Volta Macchine’s micro-sized transmitter sonde fits the bill. It is only 6.4mm diameter, and is designed to fit into ducts having inner diameter of 8mm or more and is compatible with wire and cable tracers. The construction includes transmitter unit and battery compartments, which are connected together with a semi-rigid central part. The shape of the transmitter and the unique construction help the sonde pass tube curves and joints easily. Volta Macchine is on booth 675.
Italy-based Aviatronik’s latest light-weight, shock, water and dust-reistant splicer will also be on show at ECOC. It features 300 groups of splice modes, 100 groups of heating modes, 10000 groups of fusion records and will store 64 images. With a heating time of 18 seconds and a splice time of seven seconds, it boasts dual-directional fusing, auto fusing, intelligent heat shrink and 5mm fusing for ultra-short cleave length, using an all-in-one ceramic presser foot, ceramic V-groove fixture. The touch screen has 320 times image magnification and the built-in modular lithium-ion battery is good for at least 220 counts of splicing and heating cycles. The unit also features USB and SD card interfaces for auto updates. Aviatronik is on booth 262.
Even at the component level, growth in the fibre optics industry is having an impact, with the need for increased miniaturisation and reduced power consumption driving innovation.
LEW Techniques, which manufactures bespoke precision miniature mounts for laser diodes and photodiodes reports that recent growth has come primarily from strong demand in the telecommunications sector and are largely used in current and next generation infrastructure and data centre optical communications systems, with wider industrial markets and novel applications performing well. LEW Techniques received this year its second Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the UK’s highest accolade for business success, for outstanding growth in international trade. LEW Techniques is on booth 256.
Reductions in size and power consumption are also driving development at Lumentum, which is exhibiting its next-generation TrueFlex Nano 1×9 WSS optics platform. The device is 42% smaller and requires less operating power than existing solutions. It is a low-profile LCOS-based optics platform, designed for scalability and flexibility to support gridless networking, including various modulation formats and super channels. It supports a conventional broadcast-and-select ROADM architecture and in a dual-deployment model enabled by its small size, route-and-select applications. TrueFlex Nano 1×9 WSS is ideal for network edge and core applications. Lumentum is on booth 500.