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Evolution of optical subassemblies in IBM data communication transceivers

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4 Author(s)
Trewhella, J.M. ; IBM Research Division, Thomas J. Watson Research Center, P.O. Box 218, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598, USA ; Johnson, G.W. ; Hogan, W.K. ; Karst, D.L.

Optical subassemblies (OSAs) are the highest-cost component of datacom transceivers, and therefore the component that is most constrained by production cost concerns. While transceiver costs have declined, operating rates have increased from 266 Mb/s to 10.3 Gb/s. Corresponding OSA designs, based on multimode fiber, have evolved incrementally through several generations, to 2.4 Gb/s. Costs have been lowered in successive generations by reducing the number of parts, material costs, and complexity of assembly, and by using lower-cost optoelectronic devices—vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). This paper traces the mechanical aspects of OSAs that have been developed and introduced into products or developed as demonstration projects.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Journal of Research and Development  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 2.3 )