Little Optics Develops Family of PLCs

Feb. 19, 2004
February 17, 2004, Annapolis Junction, MD. Little Optics has introduced a family of polarization management elements to its Optical ASIC library. These elements include on chip: Polarization beam splitters (splits TE and TM); Polarization combiners (combines TE and TM); Polarization rotators (rotates any input polarization by 90 degrees); and Polarization dependent phase shifters and delays

February 17, 2004, Annapolis Junction, MD. Little Optics has introduced a family of polarization management elements to its Optical ASIC library. These elements include on chip: Polarization beam splitters (splits TE and TM); Polarization combiners (combines TE and TM); Polarization rotators (rotates any input polarization by 90 degrees); and Polarization dependent phase shifters and delays

Each of these compact elements provides high extinction and low loss, and allows complete polarization control and manipulation on chip. The polarization splitters and combiners are smart elements, allowing the extinction ratio to be tuned and switched. Unlike cumbersome half-wave plates, the polarization rotator will rotate any input polarization state by 90 degrees.

These elements may be integrated together on chip or with other elements such as micro-ring resonators, long path length spirals, Mach-Zehnders, and switches into a single Optical ASIC chip less than one cm2. These elements may also be "stitched " together in various configurations using Little Optics' ASIC design rules and 5 X stepper providing rapid prototyping and broad design parametrics.

The chips come packaged with fiber connectors and an RS-232 port for dynamic control.

Little Optics was founded in July 2000 to design and develop integrated optical devices that reduce the size and cost of components for communications, semiconductor, defense electronics and bio/chem sensor applications. Through its proprietary VLSI Photonics platform, including a patented glass material system (Hydex), the company is delivering products that have one to three orders of magnitude improvement in size, performance, functionality, and integration density.

The reduced size of Hydex-based circuit elements has allowed Little Optics to employ 5X stepper lithography coupled with "pick and place" exposure strategy to fabricate devices with unmatched design flexibility and pattern fidelity.

Little Optics offers a library of circuit elements incorporating all devices available on conventional low-index PLC platforms plus unique devices such as: microring resonators, multilayer optical vias, polarization beam splitters, polarization converters/rotators, tunable amplitude and phase filters, and crossbar switches. These elements can be stitched together to build customized circuits. Little Optics furthermore offers on-chip mode transformers to match the modal profile of high-index waveguides to conventional single mode fiber.

The flexible optical ASIC development system facilitates low-cost development and production of custom subsystems on a chip such as: VOA/multiplexers, optical add/drop multiplexers, optical performance monitors, programmable delay lines for phased array antennas, and chemical/bio-sensors. Little Optics generally develops embedded controls for the optical ASICs.

For more information, visit www.littleoptics.com .

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