A bright future for new fibre-optic devices

- Ottawa, Ontario

Transmitting big data with smaller technology

As a growing fraction of the world adopts the Internet as their primary vehicle for information, high-speed optical telecommunication equipment manufacturers face relentlessly increasing demands for faster and more reliable Internet connections. Lighting the way forward is Québec-based TeraXion Inc., a leader in high-speed fibre-optic transmission networks for over a decade.

TeraXion's newest suite of high-speed optical modulators uses a next-generation indium phosphide ( InP ) system for a significantly improved transmission speed of 100 Gb/s and beyond. This development marks an important milestone in TeraXion's strategy to deliver state-of-the-art high-speed modulators to their customers and establishes them as a major player in the global telecommunications market.

To support their success, TeraXion has partnered with the National Research Council ( NRC ) to develop a more streamlined production process which will allow them to deliver superior-performing devices at a significantly greater yield. Working with experts at the NRC's Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre ( CPFC ) in Ottawa, the team has developed TeraXion's new modulator products family, which features its next-generation high-speed modulators for coherent transmission systems.

Modulating at light speed

Merging the NRC's best-in-class experience in InP processing with TeraXion's skills in photonic component design proved to be a winning combination. Over the course of only ten months, the partners rapidly designed, developed and delivered the first InP Mach-Zehnder modulators in January 2014, which represents a distinct competitive advantage for TeraXion within the optical fibre marketplace.

Through this successful collaboration, TeraXion and the NRC were able to consistently replicate the modulator's extraordinary performance in more than 800 devices fabricated on several different wafers. An impressive feat in itself, the Mach-Zehnder modulators also provide a compact, energy-efficient solution that offers consumers a more cost-effective platform that would not be possible using conventional materials.

Together, the team has developed a cutting-edge optical transmitter that sends information across the global optical fibre communications network at higher speeds than previously possible while achieving a record-breaking reduction in power consumption. Ian Woods, Vice-President of the InP  Platform at TeraXion Inc. adds that "the form factor of this modulator is ten times smaller than the competing technologies available today."

Lighting the way for global success

Serving as a "one-stop shop" for world-class engineering and manufacturing services, the CPFC provided TeraXion with the facilities and technical services it needed to design and demonstrate its advanced optical technologies. "The Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre's proven track record for bringing products to a commercialization level has been a key factor in our decision to rely on them as a partner," adds Alain-Jacques Simard, President and CEO, TeraXion.

Along with the recent acquisition of its integrated optics division by Ciena, these recent technical advances establish TeraXion as a leader in the telecommunications market and will allow network operators to support the increasing demands of Internet and mobile communications users around the world. "We are proud of this partnership with TeraXion and believe that combining our world-class process capabilities along with TeraXion's design expertise will deliver results in the marketplace," adds François Cordeau, General Manager of Information and Communications Technologies at the NRC .

With its ongoing collaboration with the NRC , and the acquisition of COGO Optronics in 2013, TeraXion is now set to provide its customers with state-of-the-art optical components that offer new solutions for faster and more reliable fibre-optic communications technologies. Proof that strong partnerships can indeed produce glowing results.

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