Agilent Technologies Developing Planar Waveguide Technology for Long-haul and Metro Networking Applications

9/10/2002 - Agilent Technologies announced that it is developing a new family of arrayed waveguide gratings (AWGs) for dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) long-haul and metropolitan network applications. Agilent's AWG technology, based on a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of glass on silicon process, enables high-volume, low-cost manufacturing and the integration of other components to lower costs for network equipment manufacturers.

AWGs are integrated optical circuits that combine (multiplex) or separate (demultiplex) different wavelength signals in an optical network. AWGs are employed placing several wavelengths on a single fiber in DWDM equipment. The new AWG family is the result of last year's acquisition of Silicon Micro Systems in Italy. Agilent is combining this work with expertise in high-volume packaging to deliver new AWG products that are highly scalable and reduce cost.

"The addition of AWG technology, combined with Agilent's high volume fiber optic transceiver leadership, positions us as a strong supplier of passive and active components to the DWDM market," said Giosue Iseni, manager of Agilent's Silicon Optics Operation. "Our silicon-based technology is a solid platform that will enable us to integrate more features, allowing for the cost-effective manufacture of complex devices such as reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers.

Initial specifications for Agilent's first AWG calls for 40 channels, with channel spacing at 100 GHz. It will be supplied in both narrow Gaussian passband and wide flat-top passband versions, with low insertion loss. Agilent's AWGs are undergoing Bellcore GR1221 and GR1209 qualifications.

Agilent is currently sampling its 40-channel AWG technology to select DWDM equipment manufacturers. Production volumes are planned for end of year.

About Agilent Technologies (
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics and life sciences. The company's 37,000 employees serve customers in more than 120 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $8.4 billion in fiscal year 2001.

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