100°Celsius SuperNova™ at ECOC 2021

by | Sep 14, 2021

Just three months after an exciting, news-filled OFC, we are now in France at ECOC 2021 — the largest conference on optical communications in Europe.  We are happy to announce our next milestone in the development of our optical I/O solution:  We have demonstrated our SuperNova™ light source operating across eight laser ports with eight wavelengths per port up to 100°C.  This ultra-wide operating temperature range provides ultimate flexibility in how and where customers can deploy our laser solution.

Demonstrating SuperNova™ Across a Wide Temperature Range

SuperNova is the industry’s first multi-wavelength, multi-port remote light source with 64 wavelengths for advanced integrated optics applications, including AI, optical computing, and optical I/O WDM. The optical source is compliant with the CW-WDM MSA 400 GHz wavelength grid and operates uncooled from 15-100°C.

The multi-wavelength source consists of a single frequency DFB laser array coupled to a laser distribution network. To create the laser, we have partnered with MACOM, a leading, high-volume laser manufacturer. Together, the laser and distribution network generate eight wavelengths across eight fibers, for a total of 64 addressable wavelength carriers. Figure 1 shows the SuperNova architecture.

SuperNova Architecture

Figure 1. SuperNova multi-wavelength source architecture.

One of the unique benefits of Ayar Labs’ SuperNova architecture is that it provides 64 addressable wavelengths that are fully stable over an ultra-wide operating temperature range.  In other words, laser wavelengths that exist at low temperatures are the same ones that exist when the temperature reaches 100°C, allowing WDM systems to lock on and track each of the 64 wavelengths over the full temperature range without shutting the system down and re-initializing the optical link.  Some other competing technologies suffer from laser modes that come and go over temperature which makes it difficult for ring modulators to lock on and stay locked to laser wavelengths as the temperature of the laser changes.

In our demonstration video, we show our SuperNova optical source operating over 15-100°C with no mode jumps and exceptionally well controlled laser spacing, varying by less than 100 GHz across the full operating temperature range as shown in Figures 2 and 3.


Laser spectra chart

Figure 2. Laser spectra across 8 ports and 8 wavelengths at 15 and 100°C

Laser wavelength chart

Figure 3. Laser wavelength from each mode operating across the full temperature range (including insets)

Enabling Customer Flexibility

Customers can use our technology in cooled, or temperature controlled, as well as uncooled environments. This will allow customers to design a system that does not require active cooling or hermetic sealing. This gives customers flexibility in how and where they deploy our laser solution for their end applications and helps them manage cost of the end product

Wireless telecommunications is a prime example of an application that benefits from a laser source that can run over an ultrawide temperature range. Telco providers are looking for ways to increase bandwidth while meeting aggressive temperature requirements. The SuperNova combined with the TeraPHY™ Optical I/O chiplet provides a unique solution for this application because the SuperNova can be placed either within the cell tower or at the remote base station.


Join Us at ECOC 2021 and Other Upcoming Events

We are presenting as part of various workshops and speakerships at ECOC this week.  We welcome you to attend the sessions to learn more about our optical I/O solution for your business applications.  You can also see us at the IEEE Photonics Conference (IPC), Tuesday, 19 October, from 12:00pm-1:30pm EDT, as part of the workshop on “Feeding the Beast: The Constant Need for Higher Bandwidth Optical Interconnects.”

Enjoy the show!

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