Oclaro to supply VCSELs for Symmetricom miniature optical clocks

Jan. 26, 2011
San Jose, CA--Oclaro has developed single-mode vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) for atomic clocks.

San Jose, CA--Oclaro (Nasdaq: OCLR), a tier-one provider of optical communications and laser solutions, has developed single-mode vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) for atomic clocks. These lasers are being used by Symmetricom, a designer and manufacturer of frequency standards, in its SA.35m miniaturized rubidium atomic clock. Featuring ultrahigh stability, low noise, and a wavelength of 795 nm, Oclaro says the single-mode VCSELs signify a new direction in the industry by enabling the world's first miniature atomic clock available in volume.

While atomic clocks are recognized as extremely precise time-keeping devices, they have been limited in size and reliability due to their traditional gas lamp. By replacing the gas lamp with a laser, manufacturers such as Symmetricom can significantly improve the reliability and power consumption of atomic clocks and also begin targeting applications that require smaller devices.

"A core part of Oclaro's strategy is to expand into adjacent markets where we can leverage our optical technology and solutions to deliver value for customers," said Yves LeMaitre, Executive VP and division manager at Oclaro. "We are pleased to extend our proven laser technology into atomic clock devices which enable Symmetricom to provide the benefits of atomic clocks in much smaller form factors."

The Oclaro single mode VCSELs enable advances in physics miniaturization, which result in reduced size and power consumption while providing stable reference frequencies that are immune to standard environmental perturbation These lasers power Symmetricom's SA.3Xm rubidium atomic frequency reference, a miniature atomic oscillator component used by network equipment manufacturers to ensure reliable wireless infrastructure.

"Oclaro's breadth of technology is enabling us to deliver a new generation of laser-based atomic clocks," said Jeff Dansereau, director of engineering at Symmetricom. "The ability to bring atomic oscillators to newer, small form factors enables a variety of end systems to achieve performance previously unattainable."

SOURCE: Oclaro; http://investor.oclaro.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=545124

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About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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