Pilot Photonics demo’s widely tuneable laser

Created February 2, 2023
Technologies and Products

Pilot Photonics has demonstrated and announced the availability of a widely tuneable laser module at the SPIE Photonics West expo in San Fransico. The company says it is the only commercially available tuneable laser that offers the combination of nanosecond switching and narrow linewidth, solving a long-running challenge in the industry.

Pilot Photonics’ laser is based on a monolithic InP chip fabricated on an active-passive platform. Electro-optic tuning with reverse-voltage bias of tuning sections allows mA-order dark currents and facilitates nanosecond switching speeds with low power dissipation. It offers more than 30nm of wavelength tuning range in either the C-band or the O-band, and linewidth of 150kHz. Currently available in 14-pin butterfly package or integrated into an OEM or laboratory instrument form-factor module, the company is also developing a nano-iTLA module for high volume applications

Pilot says widely tuneable semiconductor lasers can typically offer narrow linewidth, or fast tuning, but not both. In optical fibre sensing systems, electronically tuneable lasers have traditionally been used for their fast tunability over a wide tuning range which is achieved using a current injection tuning mechanism. However, these lasers exhibit linewidths that are unsuitable for demanding phase sensitive applications such as coherent optical communication and frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) LiDAR. Changing to a thermal tuning mechanism reduces the linewidth, but at the expense of switching speed which renders the laser unsuitable for some of these applications.

“We have been working with our partner SMART Photonics on a couple of innovative tuneable laser designs made possible with their PIC platform” said Dr. Frank Smyth, founder and CTO at Pilot Photonics. “These devices target specific challenges that our customers are facing, and we are delighted to help solve them”.

For more information, visit www.pilotphotonics.com


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.