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Unveiling new high power semiconductor optical amplifiers and lasers

NeoPhotonics Corporation (NYSE: NPTN), a leading designer and manufacturer of advanced hybrid photonic integrated circuit based modules and subsystems for bandwidth-intensive, high speed communications networks, announced that it's sampling high power semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) and Narrow Linewidth (NLW) Distributed Feedback Lasers (DFB) lasers for very long range automotive Lidar (“light detection and ranging”) applications.

NeoPhotonics SOAs and NLW lasers operate in eye-safe wavelength regions, which offerings feature 1550nm wavelength SOAs with >24 dBm (>250mW) output power along with 1550nm NLW-DFB lasers which allow automotive Lidar systems to “see” considerably farther than 200 meters, thereby significantly enhancing safety.

Current Lidar systems for autonomous vehicles use expensive discrete optical components and employ direct detection measurement of the reflected light intensity, which limits range and sensitivity. Next-gen Lidar systems uses “coherent” technology, which was pioneered by NeoPhotonics for communications networks, to greatly increase the range and sensitivity by measuring the phase from the reflected light. Coherent Lidar systems are fabricated using chip-scale manufacturing to reduce costs and enable high volume.

Chip scale manufacturing requires coherent Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) run by low phase and intensity noise semiconductor lasers and output power semiconductor optical amplifiers. Narrow linewidth and low phase noise lasers let the precise phase measurements required by coherent detection and optical amplifiers to enhance the optical signal power for very long reach detection. When coupled with coherent PIC receivers, high power SOA and NLW-DFB laser enable coherent Lidar transceivers for high volume manufacturing.

“Our laser components are key elements for chip-scale Lidar systems that may be manufactured in high volumes,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics. “Lidar architectures according to coherent technologies have the benefit of leveraging high volume, chip-scale technologies produced by NeoPhotonics for telecommunications and data center interconnect applications. Laser components are manufactured within our internal fabs and utilize our advanced hybrid photonic integration technology for high performance and high reliability, allowing system integrators to quickly leverage coherent technology and it is established manufacturing supply-chain for Lidar applications.” continued Mr. Jenks.