Agere Systems claims that it is the first company to start volume production of a three-dimensional microelectromechanical systems (3D MEMS) optical switch component.
Available in 64×64 and 32×32 configurations, Agere’s component offers systems manufacturers a solution for high-speed all-optical switching systems, cross-connects and add/drop multiplexers.
Announced in 2001, Agere’s S5200 3D MEMS optical switch module is a small-form-factor device used to manipulate optical signals without the need to convert the signals to electrical form, allowing any protocol or data rate to pass through the switch.
Fabricated using standard IC processing tools, the component includes all of the control electronics needed to manipulate the mirrors in the switch module. The component has begun the process of qualification, which is expected to be completed by summer 2002.
Competitive two-dimensional all-optical switch offerings – such as 2D MEMS, bubble and liquid crystal technologies – configure tiny mirrors on a single plane to reflect incoming signals to a designated output port. With 3D MEMS, however, signals are directed to an array of dual-axis mirrors that can be tilted in multiple positions, reflecting an incoming signal off one of these mirrors to another dual axis mirror and finally to the designated output port.