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Tiny tuneable laser could speed up telecommunications

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JDSU has created a new device that should help create smaller, and cheaper tuneable products for faster telecommunication networks. The device will be used to replace slow, manual operations and allow the networks to quickly respond to fluctuating amounts of data.

The new PIC (photonic integrated circuit) includes a widely tuneable laser and Mach Zehnder modulator on a single chip that is small enough to fit on the tip of a finger. JDSU used highly precise processes, more commonly found in the semiconductor industry, to develop hundreds of chips on a silicon wafer. The chips are then separated and integrated into different components.

The new technology also enables JDSU to support transmission speeds greater than 11.3 Gigabits per second and is scalable to support 40G networks.