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The Big Trade-Off

Photonics Spectra
Feb 2001
Who says you can't have high power and efficient fiber coupling in one semiconductor laser?

Vincent Schmidt

Semiconductor lasers are very small (about the size of a grain of salt), very efficient electrically powered sources of coherent light. In the mid-1980s, their availability in large quantities and with long lifetimes enabled several applications, such as fiber optic communications, medical diagnostics and laser-based displays.

Since then, technological advances in fiber optic components and dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) have enabled the widespread deployment of high-speed optical networks. Low-cost laser sources and tunable components are critical for next-generation DWDM networks as the number of channels and data rates increase...


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