Fast Control Circuit for a GCSR Tunable Laser for Applications in Optical Packet Switching

Dimitris Klonidis, Georgios Zervas, C T Politi, Dimitra Simeonidou, Mike O'Mahony

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


This paper presents results on fast tuning of a GCSR laser, in particular
focusing on control circuit requirements. GSCR lasers are important components for WDM networks due to their wide tuning range capability. This characteristic can be utilised in next generation optical networks if combined with fast switching between the
wavelengths. For example, the realization of an ultra-fast tunable laser is essential for the implementation of fast wavelength converters, which are the key subsystems in Optical Packet Networks. They can also be used for O/E/O conversion in hybrid systems. In order to be applicable in optical packet switched systems, the switching times of the laser must be of the order of the packet guard time, i.e. ~ 10 ns. As the intrinsic limitations of the laser would restrict the switching time to a few nanoseconds, an ultra fast control circuit should be able to switch between any two wavelengths at this speed. The control circuit presented here comprises an FPGA board to store the 10-bit digital current values and two digital to analogue converters (D/AC) to convert these values to currents. Switching times of less than 5ns were measured between the required driving currents, representing the full tuning range of 70 nm. This offers the feasibility of achieving wideband wavelength switching in less than 10 ns.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNetwork and Optical Communications (NOC)
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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