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New VOAs Offering Unparalleled Optical Performance are First MEMS based VOAs to Pass
Telcordia Qualification Requirements

Newark, California – USA. Single and 8 channel voltage controlled Variable Optical Attentuators (VOAs), offering significantly faster speed, smaller form factor and better optical performance than anything now on the market, have been introduced by LIGHTCONNECT, an international provider of innovative, dynamic MEMS-based fibre optic components for next generation networks.

The single channel FVOA2001 individual elements are each housed in a transistor-like hermetically sealed package. The FVOM2008 is a multi-channel array consisting of eight MEMS-based FVOA2001 elements in a single package. These two new offerings from LIGHTCONNECT are the first MEMS based VOAs to successfully pass the industry’s most stringent reliability tests according to Telcordia ™ GR-1221 and GR-1209 guidelines.

LIGHTCONNECT VOAs are based on proprietary diffractive MEMS (micro electro-mechanical systems) technology, which is faster, more reliable, less complex and less expensive to manufacture than stepper-motor based devices, planar wave guide technology and other MEMS technologies, such as micro mirrors or bubbles.

The use of diffractive MEMS technology also allows these VOAs to be 1,000 times faster and nearly 90 percent smaller than industry standard devices. In addition, they have passed trillions of attenuation cycles without any performance degradation. Advanced transistor-like packaging not only provides a reliable hermetic package, but also lends itself to efficient automated manufacturing, yielding high volumes at lower per-unit cost.

Key Features

· The devices operate at under 60 microseconds typical response time

· Low PDL (polarisation dependent loss) under 0.1 dB typical

· Insertion loss 0.8 dB typical

· WDL (wavelength dependent loss) less than 0.3 dB max at 10 dB attenuation

· PMD (polarisation mode dispersion) less than 0.01 ps typical

· Dynamic range greater than 30 Db

· Power consumption under 10 mW per channel

· All this in a small 9 x 16 mm package

"We want our first product offerings to provide unprecedented improvements to the market and therefore make the adoption of our products very compelling," expressed Dr. Asif Godil, chief technology officer and co-founder of LIGHTCONNECT. "We believe the speed, performance, size and reliability of our FVOM2008 array offers those improvements. In these and future product offerings, we want market responsiveness on our part to be as much a hallmark of LIGHTCONNECT as is technical excellence."

Telcordia™ Technologies Testing Programme

LIGHTCONNECT’S VOA 1000 and 2000 series have successfully passed the industry’s most stringent reliability tests, having met rigorous environmental conditions according to both Telcordia™ GR-1221 and GR-1209 guidelines. LIGHTCONNECT also cycled Fast VOAs between 0 and 15 dB of attenuation over 40 billion times at elevated temperatures (85°C), demonstrating a level of reliability never met by MEMS based components before. Additionally, it was demonstrated that the VOAs, while operating, were not affected by mechanical shock or vibration.

The Telcordia protocols are internationally recognised for demonstrating the long-term reliability and performance of optical components and are used to determine the quality of the manufacturing process. These reliability criteria are set forth in the Generic Requirements (GR) documents and measure a wide variety of mechanical, environmental and endurance factors, including stress, vibration, thermal shock, moisture resistance, damp heat, temperature cycling and other considerations. The LIGHTCONNECT diffractive MEMS devices are certified for both controlled (central office and remote terminal) and uncontrolled environments. The latter consideration is especially important for devices being deployed in metro networks.

About Variable Optical Attenuators (VOAs)

VOAs enable dynamic control of optical power in several key areas of dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) networks. They provide power balancing: before multiple channels are combined; during channel equalisation at add/drop multiplexers; between stages in amplifiers; and power control into receivers. The high performance, fast VOAs offered by LIGHTCONNECT are an excellent choice for all of these applications.

Pricing and Availability

The FVOA2001 individual attenuator is priced at 0.00, for engineering samples and significantly less for production volumes. The FVOA2001 and FVOM2008 are both available and currently shipping.


Founded in 1999, LIGHTCONNECT designs and manufactures innovative, MEMS-based, fibre optic components for next generation, dynamically configurable optical networks. The company's proven solutions meet rapidly growing needs for configurability in optical networks, where the components must support rapid bandwidth and circuit provisioning. LIGHTCONNECT innovates new optical components by combining the wave nature of light with established CMOS and transistor packaging techniques. The result is a new category of dynamic MEMS (micro electro-mechanical systems) components that are of highest performance, compact, highly manufacturable, and of proven, best-in-class reliability.

The company has raised a total of million in two rounds of funding. Investors included Sevin Rosen Fund, US Venture Partners, Morgenthaler, Intel Capital, Optical Capital Group, Supertex, Milton Chang and Incubic.

The company is located in Newark, California, and has 52 employees. For more information, visit or send email to .

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