Santec debuts 3-in-one swept photonics analyser

Created March 15, 2023
Technologies and Products

Santec corporation has launched a three-in-one swept photonics analyser, the SPA-100.  The device, in conjunction with Santec’s tuneable laser, uses optical frequency domain reflectometry (OFDR) technology to analyse compact fibre optic and photonic devices for insertion loss and return loss with a spatial resolution of better than 5um. The company says the wide sweeping range of the Santec TSL along with the SPA-100 allows for the highest resolution reflectometer and analyser on the market. This, it adds, makes the system uniquely suitable for analysing small devices like silicon photonic circuits, fibre optic components, and compact fibre optic assemblies.

The included software displays a trace showing reflectance and loss events along the waveguide and gives the capability to locate faults, measure parameters such as waveguide length, and refractive index. Beyond yielding a reflectance trace, the SPA-100 system uses coherent detection technology to perform transmissive wavelength dependent loss measurement with a wide dynamic range of better than 70dB in a single scan, saving measurement time with no need to change optical power meter ranges.

SPA-100 software screenshot. Image: Santec.

A patented proximity sensing function allows for the fibre probe itself to sense the distance between the probe and the silicon wafer to facilitate the alignment process during the wafer level characterisation process in a silicon photonic chip production line.

Other features of the SPA-100 include ultra-wide WDL measurement with a scanning range of up to 160nm; a wide dynamic range for WDL better than 70dB dynamic range; configurability based on the selected TSL; proximity sensing using OFDR technology to sense distance between fibre probe and wafer and intuitive software to analyse areas of interest, apply different refractive indexes to portions of the scan, measure IL and RL, and store/load previous data for further analysis.

The SPA-100 weas first displayed at OFC 2023 and can be seen at the IEEE SiPhotonics conference from April 4th to 7th.

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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.