Market Studies
Optical Amplifiers: Technology & Systems

Published: April 1999

$2995 - Print copy

This report covers the market forecasts and technology assessments of Optical Amplifiers including major suppliers. The following lists some of the major optical amplifier technologies around.

Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifiers
It is now widely accepted that optical amplifiers lie at the very hart of the revolution in the field of optical communications and have contributed enormously into the unprecedented expansion in optical communication networks currently observed worldwide. Erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs) provide efficient optical amplification around the 1.55 µm (third) telecommunication window. They are transparent to modulation format (analog/digital, linear/non-linear) and can be used as power amplifiers, in-line amplifiers, as well as pre-amplifiers. They show extremely low polarization sensitivity and are fully compatible with the rest of the fiber optic transmission link. They are shown to provide gain in excess of 50 dB and near-quantum-limited noise performance. Wide-bandwidth, high-power amplifiers are needed in order to increase the amplifier span and optical-link capacity. In composite configurations, EDFAs can provide high gain over bandwidth as wide as 80 nm and output power as high as +37 dBm. However, to exploit the full potential of the EDFA, appropriate gain-flattening and channel-equalization techniques are being employed. Use of wide-bandwidth gain-flattened EDFAs can result in fully-transparent, easily-upgradable optical networks through wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) and time division multiplexing (TDM) strategies. Laboratory linear transmission experiments, employing EDFAs and WDM format, have demonstrated bit rates in excess of 5 Tbps and submarine and terrestrial systems are being planned for deployment above 1 Tbps.

Praseodymium Doped Fluoride Amplifiers
Although EDFAs have shifted the telecom emphasis towards the third telecom window, there is still great interest in 1.3 µm amplifiers. This is mainly because a substantial part of the fiber optic network worldwide (~50 Mkm) is designed for operation at the second telecom window (~1.31 µm). Praseodymium-doped fluoride fiber amplifiers (PDFFAs) can provide substantial gain in this region. However, to compete with EDFAs, the quantum efficiency of the 1.3 µm transition of Pr3+ should be increased. Low-phonon-energy glass hosts are needed for this purpose and intensive research is directed towards Gallium-Lanthanum-Sulfide (GLS) and Gallium-Sulfide-Iodide (GSI) glasses.

Telluride Based ErbiumDoped Optical Amplifiers
Telluride based erbium doped optical amplifiers offer the potential of a flat optical bandwidth of over 76nm in the 1532-1608nm band thus increasing the potential bandwidth of an ebium doped optical amplifier to over 110nm.

Semiconductors Optical Amplifiers
Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers (SOAs) offer an alternative to the fiber-based counterparts, at both 1.3 µm and 1.5 µm telecom windows. They can provide 25-30 dB (fiber-to-fiber) gain, saturation power up to +13 dBm and noise figure of 6-7 dB over a bandwidth of ~50 nm. Despite recent considerate performance improvements, SOAs still suffer from polarization sensitivity (0.5-1 dB) and exhibit nonlinear distortions. These characteristics compare them unfavorably with EDFAs and it is not quite clear whether they will ever compete with them and eventually be deployed in practical systems. However, characteristics of SOAs that are associated with their fast nonlinearities make them very attractive for a number of applications, such as optical signal processing, wavelength conversion and regeneration, time demultiplexing, clock recovery, and pattern recognition. Such all-optical functions are needed if optical networks with large-traffic-handling capacities will ever be developed.

Raman Amplifiers
Recent advances in grating technology and the development of high-power diode pump lasers have revived interest in Raman fiber amplifiers. Raman scattering is a non-resonant process and, therefore, can provide amplification at both the 1.3 µm and 1.5 µm windows. Raman amplifiers have been successfully used as pre-amplifiers, power amplifiers and distributed amplifiers in a number of digital and analog (single channel/WDM) transmission experiments.

Planar Waveguied Optical Amplifiers
Rare-earth-doped planar waveguide devices are becoming increasingly important and may soon provide compact and inexpensive alternatives to fiber amplifiers. In addition, planar technology is quite suitable for optical integration and will be pivotal for the development of fully-integrated advanced future optical devices.

Who Should be Interested in this Report

This report should be of interest to a wide range of users and suppliers:

  • Telecommunications service providers
  • Submarine fiber optic systems suppliers
  • CLECs
  • Test equipment manufacturers
  • Long-distance carriers
  • CATV operators and manufacturers
  • Fiber optic component suppliers
  • Fiber optic sensor manufacturers
  • Systems integrators
  • Investors
  • Consultants

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

1.0 Introduction

2.0 Market Drivers

  • Fiber Amplifiers
  • Praseodymiurn Amplifiers
  • Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers
  • Raman Amplifiers
  • Impact on Network Architectures

3.0 Optical Amplifier Technology

  • Background of Optical Amplifiers
  • Types of Optical Fiber Amplifiers
    • Erbiurn-doped Amplifiers
    • Multiwavelength Optical Repeaters
    • Gain Blocks
    • Fluoride Fiber Amplifiers
    • Praseodymiurn Amplifiers
    • Tellurite Amplifiers
  • Semiconductor Amplifiers
    • Applications for Semiconductor Amplifiers
    • Switches
    • Wavelength Converters
    • Equipment Integration
  • Raman Amplifiers
  • Components of an Optical Amplifier
    • Fiber
  • Lasers
    • Lasers for Cable TV
    • Laser Manufacturers
  • Isolators
    • Isolator Manufacturers
  • Integrated Components for Amplifiers
  • Filters
    • Gain Flattening Filters
    • Interference Filters
    • Edgepass Filters
    • Bandpass WDM Filters
    • Filter Manufacturers
  • Fiber Bragg Gratings
    • Fiber Bragg Grating Manufacturers
  • Couplers and (VvDMs)
    • Tap Couplers
    • Fiber Amplifiers VY`DMs
    • Coupler Manufacturers

4.0 Optical Amplifier Applications

  • Long Distance Telecommunications
  • Passive Optical Networks
  • Dense Wavelength Division Mult. Networks
  • Amplifiers in a Network
    • Line Amplifiers
      Post Amplifiers
  • Cable Television
  • Submarine Amplifiers
    • Background on Submarine Amplifiers
    • Remote Amplification
    • EDFA Repeaters
  • Test Instrumentation
  • Optical Amplifier Substrates
  • Types of Amplification
  • Reliability of Optical Amplifiers
  • Network Management

5.0 Ongoing Projects and Trends

  • Wavelength Division Multiplexing

  • Background of Wavelength Division Multiplexing
  • Testbeds and Experiments for WDM and Amplifiers
    • MONET Project
    • Bell Labs and MONET
    • Lucent Technologies
    • Fujitsu Laboratories
    • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
    • Bellcore
    • Optical Networks Technology Consortium
    • RACE MVvqN
    • KDD R&D Laboratories
    • NTT Optical Network Systems Labs
    • C&C Media Research Laboratories, NEC
    • OPEN
    • Heinrich-Hertz Institute
    • MOSAIC
  • Optical Crossconnects
  • Solitons
  • Optical Routers
    • All-Optical Networking Consortium
  • Coherent Technology
    • Coherent Testing
    • UCOL
    • Fiber-to-the-Desk Trends

6.0 Market Trends

  • Telecommunications Networks
    • Long Distance Networks
    • Metro Networks
    • Utility Companies
    • Global Market Forecast for Telecom Amplifiers
  • Cable Television Networks
    • Market Forecast for CATV Amplifiers
    • Background on CATV
    • Broadband Services
  • Sensor and Research Market
  • Undersea Fiber Networks
  • The International Market for Optical Amplifiers
  • Cost Trends for Optical Amplifiers
    • Erbium-doped Fiber Amplifiers
    • Praseodymium Amplifiers
    • Semiconductor Amplifiers
    • Raman Amplifiers

7.0 Optical Amplifier Testing

  • Optical Signal to Noise Ratio
  • Bit-Error-Rate
  • Test Equipment
    • OTDRs
    • OSAs
    • Multiwavelength Meters
    • Optical Attenuators
    • Polarization Analyzer
    • Erbium ASE Light Sources
    • Lightwave Multimeter
    • Optical Loss and PDL Analyzer
    • Polarization Controllers
    • Precision Reflectometer
    • Channel Monitoring
    • VVDM Optical Test Systems
  • Test and Measurement Manufacturers
  • Cost of Test Equipment

8.0 Standards for Optical Amplifiers

  • ITU
  • Bellcore
  • JEC
  • ANSI
  • TIA
  • CATV Standards

9.0 Optical Amplifier Suppliers and Research Groups

  • ADC Telecommunications
  • Adva Optical Solutions
  • Advanced Linear Devices
  • AFC Technologies, Inc.
  • AG Electro-Optics
  • Alcatel
  • Alcatel Submarine Networks
  • Anadigics, Inc.
  • Anritsu America
  • Anritsu Company
  • Antec Network Technologies
  • Bookharn Technology
  • Bosch Telecom
  • Boston Electronics Corp.
  • BT Laboratories
  • BT&D Technologies
  • Ciena Corporation
  • Coherent, Inc.
  • CoreTek Inc.
  • Coming, Inc.
  • Devar, Inc.
  • Ditech Corp.
  • DSC Communications
  • EG&G
  • Ericsson
  • E-Tek Dynamics
  • Ferntosecond Optics Group
  • Fujikura
  • Fujitsu
  • Furukawa
  • Galileo Corp.
  • GeeO
  • General Instrument
  • Harmonic Lightwaves Inc.
  • Highwave Technologies
  • HOYA Corp.
  • Iltatel
  • ILX Lighwave
  • INME America
  • International Fiberoptics
  • Ipitek
  • Ire Polus Group
  • JDS Fitel
  • KDD R&D Laboratories
  • Kumho Telecom, Inc.
  • Lasertron, Inc.
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Le Verre, Fluor Fiber Optics
  • Litton Light Wave Products
  • Lucent Technologies
  • Mas-Tech International, Inc.
  • Maxim Integrated Products
  • Mitel Semiconductor
  • Mitsubishi Electronics America
  • MPB Technologies Inc.
  • NEC Electronics Inc.
  • Newport Corp.
  • Nippon Mining Co.
  • Nortel
  • NTT
  • Nuphoton Technologies Inc.
  • Oki Electric Industry Co.
  • Ornron Electronics Inc.
  • Opnet Communication Technologies Inc.
  • Oprel Technologies Inc.
  • Optigain
  • Optisensors Inc.
  • Optivision
  • Ortel
  • Phillips Electronics
  • Philtec
  • Photonetics
  • Photonic Technologies
  • Picosecond Pulse Labs
  • Pirelli
  • Positive Light
  • PriTel Inc.
  • Raychem
  • Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Samsung Electronics Inc.
  • Scientific Atlanta, Inc.
  • SDL Inc.
  • SBY Design
  • Sifam Ltd.
  • Silicon Valley Communications
  • Sirio
  • Spectra-Physics
  • Stanford Research Systems
  • SVFO
  • Synchronous Group
  • TECOS Telecommunications Systems
  • Terahertz Technologies, Inc.
  • Thor Labs, Inc.
  • Tyco Submarine Systems
  • Vere, Inc.
  • Vitesse Semiconductor Corp.
  • Wave Optics Inc.

10.0 Components Suppliers for Optical Amplifiers

  • Altitun
  • AMP
  • Amphenol
  • APA Optics, Inc.
  • Applied Fiber Optics
  • Applied Optronics Corp.
  • Bragg Photonics Inc.
  • Canadian Instrumentation
  • Corning OCA
  • DiConFiberoptics
  • EG&G Canada
  • FDK
  • Fermionics Opto-Technology
  • Fiber Optic Communications Inc.
  • Fibercore Ltd.
  • Gould Electronics
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Heinrich Hertz-Institute
  • Hon Hai
  • IBM Laser Enterprises (Uniphase)
  • Innovative Fiber Inc
  • Kromafibre Inc.
  • Laser Diode, Inc.
  • Matsushita Electronics Corp.
  • Melles Griot
  • Micron Optics Inc.
  • MP Fiberoptics, Inc.
  • New Focus, Inc.
  • Oplink Communications
  • OptiVideo Corp.
  • Optiwave
  • Opto Power Corp.
  • Opto-Electronics
  • Panasonic Industrial Co.
  • Queensgate Instruments
  • Santec USA
  • SDL Optics Inc.
  • Selco Products Inc.
  • Surnicern Opto-Electronics Inc.
  • Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Corp.
  • Siemens Components Inc.
  • Thomson-CSF
  • 3M Specialty Fibers
  • Uniphase Communications Products
  • UTP Fiberoptics Ltd.

11.0 Optical Amplifier Summary