ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Agere Systems, a provider of communications semiconductors, announced the industry's first undersea pump laser for Raman amplification in ultra-high-capacity submarine optical networks. Raman amplification boosts the strength of communications signals traveling through optical fiber more effectively than current amplification techniques, thereby allowing longer distances between amplifying devices. That, in-turn, reduces the cost of deploying optical networks, especially on undersea routes that require ultra-reliable and therefore more costly amplifying devices, or repeaters. In Raman amplification, the pump laser sends a signal down the same fiber as the transmission signal, which boosts the transmitted signal's power throughout the optical span between two repeaters. It delivers a significantly improved signal-to-noise ratio over other amplification technologies such as those using erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs). "Undersea networks demand high-reliability components, and our new pump laser is specifically designed to meet the stringent requirements of submerged high capacity applications," said Stefan Rochus, Agere's director of marketing for submarine and amplifier applications. "With this device, Agere is extending its expertise in Raman technology -- first deployed in terrestrial networks -- into the undersea market."