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Analog Devices to Help Nortel with MEMS-Based Optical Switching Elements
Sep 2000
NORWOOD, Mass., Sept. 21 -- Analog Devices Inc. and Nortel Networks have agreed to work together on the development of integrated optical microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) switching elements for Nortel Networks' high port-count photonic cross-connect switches. The agreement stipulates that the switching elements be developed at Analog Devices' Cambridge, Mass. MEMS fabrication facility using wafers supplied by Analog Devices' recently acquired subsidiary BCO Technologies.
This second-generation optical switching element is made up of a group of moveable micromachined mirrors that are integrated with electronic components. These all-optical switching elements do away with the need to transform optical signals to electrical signals for switching and then back to optical form. The mirrors guide beams of light, which carry dense wavelength division multiplexed data over the Internet's backbone, from incoming to outgoing fiber optic cables in a fiber optic network.

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