Only a few companies are capable of making 980-nm pump laser modules from scratch--fabricating both chip and package, as well as constructing and testing the devices (which are used to pump erbium-doped fiber amplifiers). One of these companies is Multiplex Inc. (South Plainfield, NJ), founded in 1998 by Won Tsang, a former researcher at Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs (Murray Hill, NJ). But Multiplex has no plans to be a single-product company. In fact, the pump-laser module is only the base product, with much of the company's efforts going into other "flagship" products, according to Daniel Guy, director of sales and marketing.
One of these is an electroabsorptive-module (EAM) distributed-feedback (DFB) laser, in which the EA module and laser coexist on the same chip. This is in contrast to other arrangements—for example, a lithium niobate modulator and a separate DFB laser—that are bulky and complex. "We have developed our own laser-welded epoxy-free package," Guy notes. Multiplex has a 15,000-sq ft facility, 4000 sq ft of which is cleanroom space. The facility houses a full-scale production line, from metal-oxide chemical-vapor deposition to reliability and system testing at up to 12 Gbit/s. Multiplex is now sampling 2.5- and 10-Gbit/s versions of its EAM laser.