While the Cable Modem, xDSL, and other forms of broadband access are booming in recent years, Fiber To The Home (FTTH) access is also gradually becoming a project that people are very interested in. The FTTH will eventually realize the “three networks in one” of Telephone, CATV and Internet, when the speed of data transmission can be more than 100 Mbps (200 times faster than the commonly used dial-up Internet access) and bring homes high-definition TV movies and fast online office, etc. FTTH can also solve the problem such as the quality of phone calls, the definition of television and so on.
From the perspective of the world’s situation, the FTTH’s promotion of South Korea and Japan has entered a rapid growth period; North America and Europe has begun to start which brings an optimistic outlook; China, Russia, India and South America is following and speeding up the development. From the perspective of FTTH, the optical communications industry market’s growth potential is still very large.
Applications of High-Power Optical Amplifiers
High-power optical amplifier as one of the basic devices of modern optical communications, is not only the premise of the existence of large-capacity and long-distance all-optical communication networks, but also plays a more and more important role in the process of fiber optic networks’ constantly extending and expanding. At present, in the central office, it usually needs to install more than one optical amplifiers in order to cover larger scope and more users. To take CATV for example, if a medium-sized county needs to send high-quality first-level TV signals to the villages and towns, it generally needs 4 to 8 sets of optical amplifiers. However, if high-power optical amplifiers are used, then only one is enough, which can greatly reduce the cost.
Solutions of High-Power Optical Amplifiers
Traditional Solution using EDFA Technology
One of the solutions for high-power optical amplifiers is to use the traditional general EDFA technology. As shown in the figure below, the signal is amplified at the first stage and then divided into several parts into several EDFAs at the second stage to realize the further ascension of power. The power enlarged in the end can be allocated.
Theare are mainly four problems of this solution:
- The adoption of multilevel structure will make the optical structure very complex, and due to the adoption of multiple lasers in the internal part, the corresponding control scheme is very complicated.
- As the multilevel structure has a WDM between the two stages of optical amplifiers, equivalent to bring more insertion loss to the optical path, the noise figure of EDFA amplifiers will deteriorate.
- In addition, the traditional EDFAs use single mode fiber core pump technology, but high-power single-mode pumped lasers have been greatly restricted on technical and cost.
- The whole sets of EDFA’s cost is very high and is very expensive.
Better Solution using EYDFA Technology
This ultra-high-power amplifier technology is a multimode cladding pump technology—EYDFA technology, a recently developed new technology that uses the Yb3+ and Er3+ ions doped double-clad fiber. The technology results to the combination of a series of new technologies, new processes and new materials. It is the core technology of ultra-high-power amplifiers and represents the development direction of optical amplifier technologies. While traditional EDFA use single-mode fiber core pump technology to achieve higher output power (which has been greatly limited on the technical and cost), the Er/Yb-Doped Fiber Amplifier (EYDFA) multimode cladding pump technology is the best choice for large output power optical amplifiers. Here is a typical optical structure of EYDFA.
The main advantages of EYDFA are as following:
- Compared with the single mode fiber core pump technology, multimode cladding pump technology has obvious advantages. The multimode cladding pump technology is to input the pump light to the multimode double-cladding fiber whose cross section are hundreds to thousands of times the single-mode fiber. As a result, at the same input optical density, multimode cladding pump can allow hundreds to thousands of times the single-mode pumped input, easily realizing the optical amplifiers’ high output power or ultra-high output power.
- Can be realized using a simple optical structure, so the application form is very simple (as shown in the figure below).
- The overall cost of the pumps can be greatly reduced.
Fiberstore’s high-power optical amplifier module type products—FTTH-EYDFA series are featured with high output power (17–26 dBm), low noise figure (less than 6 dB @ 1550 nm, 5 dBm input power), wide range of working wavelength (1540–1565 nm), flexible control, high reliability, etc. The output power of high-power optical amplifier is nearing 32 dBm in the laboratory.
Predictably, the widely applications of the ultra-high-power optical amplifiers (EYDFA) will have a profound impact on the development of optical communication, and its market prospect and effectiveness to economic and social present a good trend.