NxM Matrix Switches

(Digital Technology, High Reliability, Latching, and Fast Speed)

Agiltron fiber optic matrix switches simultaneous connecting between N number of input and M number output fibers, in a fully non-blocking, all-optical, cross-connect configuration. Matrix optical switches enable dynamic reconfiguration function to an optical network, increasing its reliability as well as sharing the resource.

Digital MEMS Optical Switch Advantages

Fig.1 Analog 3D matrix switching

MEMS-based optical switches can be grouped into two approaches: digital and analog. In both cases, micro-mirrors are actuated to redirect light from a given input port to a given output port.  In analog matrix switches, two mirrors are rotated to obtain the switch function, requiring a complex feedback electronics with firmware to maintain each coupling position and compensate temperature dependence. These switches have drawbacks of drifting over time due to residual electrostatic charge build-up which cannot be calibrated by software; slow due to the need to reset after each switching; and lost position when power off, as well as hitless issues. In digital switches, each mirror only moves within two positions: in or out of the light path.

Fig.2 Digital 2D matrix switching

Agiltron uses a proprietary thermally actuated digital MEMS offering major advantages over analog MEMS. These include high reliability, intrinsic temperature insensitive, no drift over time, fast switching,   latching to the positions, straight forward TTL electronic driver interface, direct low driving voltage, fail-safe preserving light paths when power removed.  Agiltron produces the MEMS chips at our in-house 6” foundry, enabling to offer the most competitive pricing.  A typical MEMS mirror arrangement and principle of operation of a digital optical switch is shown in Figure 2.

Three Digital Matrix Optical Switch Technologies For All Application Scenarios

Agiltron produces three types of digital 2D matrix switches for various application scenarios. We have been producing magneto-optical based crystaLatchingTM 2D matrix switches for over 19 years.  This family of non-mechanical switches provides a unique solution for applications that require high speed and high reliability; including Lidars, undersea, aerospace, and outpace with a large customer base.  Our 2D MEMS matrix switches offer high reliability without the concern for long term drift, fast switching speed, fail to save latching function, and low power consumption.  We currently produce port count up to 32×32 with a uniform insertion loss of less than 2dB for each light path.  Our SelfAlignTM matrix switches are based on fiber-to-fiber technology without coating, offering a unique solution for large mode fibers and high power operation (>10W) with very low loss (0.3dB), a preferred solution for instrumentations and testing.

Custom Digital Matrix Optical Switch Solutions

For test & measurement applications requiring control of more than one matrix optical switch or coordinated control of multiple optical components, Agiltron offers the rackmount system with GPIB and internet control interface.

Agiltron has extensive expertise in creating customized optical switches, using customer specified fiber, non-standard wavelengths, etc., creating truly custom solutions, or integrate multiple optical switch components to create an application specific solution.

Please contact Agiltron sales to discuss further.

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