Oscillators Going Optical
OEwaves Inc. of Pasadena, Calif., has developed a high-frequency oscillator that the company hopes will replace the quartz ones found in communications devices. It plans to produce optoelectronic oscillators for optical network transmitters by 2002.
The device uses the internal reflection of a laser beam in a glass micro-sphere to establish a reference frequency, determined by the diameter of the sphere and the wavelength of the laser. Quartz oscillators have a natural frequency of 5 MHz, and multiplying their output adds expense as well as signal noise to the system.
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