Lightwave Logic debuts 50 Gbaud polymer modulator for long-distance optic comms

Created December 18, 2018
Technologies and Products

Colorado, US-based Lightwave Logic, has launched a 50 Gbaud polymer modulator offering to address fibre optic communications needs for links over distances of 10 km or longer. The 50 Gbaud device is capable of base data rates of 100 Gbps when used with PAM-4 modulation, and of supporting aggregate data rates of 400 Gbps when implemented in an array.

Lightwave Logic CEO Michael Lebby said, “While we explore other multi-billion dollar markets the benchmark market opportunity for fibre optic link distances of 10km and greater is worth over US$1 billion over the next decade. As data rates increase, we see a growing technology gap at these longer reaches that our modulators are ideally suited to fill.”

There is an increasing need for high performance interconnects over 10km between datacentre buildings. 5G mobile upgrades, autonomous driving and Internet of Things (IoT) are expected to increase the need for data stored and processed geographically close to the end user in edge data centres. These growing applications also require optics capable of very high speeds and a greater than 10 km reach.

The company says it is engaging with prospective customers with a generic packaged prototype for preliminary evaluation.   It has the capability to further tune the modulator to meet specific customer needs by leveraging its in-house vertical integration, that ranges from synthesised polymer materials to device fabrication and package design.

In line with roadmaps presented last May at its Annual Shareholder Meeting, Lightwave Logic is developing a platform consisting of materials, device and package approaches that are capable of extension up to 100 Gbaud, which is twice the data rate of today’s 50Gbaud modulator.  The company believes target customers value the longevity of the polymer roadmap compared to those of incumbent technologies such as silicon and indium phosphide, as they look to extend their own roadmaps. The 50 Gbaud modulator is its first announced offering on this platform.

Lightwave Logic designs proprietary electro-optic polymers which enable optical components with superior speed, stability, low power and cost-efficiency. On top of the differentiating materials, it builds a technology platform including its own devices, packages and processes for manufacturability.

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.