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Keysight Technologies Introduces Tunable Laser Source with Industry-Leading Tuning Repeatability

KeysightKeysight Technologies, Inc. introduced the 81606A tunable laser source, a new module for the 8164B lightwave measurement system. With sub-picometer tuning repeatability and best-in-class wavelength accuracy, even in full-speed, two-way sweeps, the new module helps verify the design of demanding devices and reduce test cost per device. The tunable laser speeds up the automated adjustment of wavelength-selective devices and allows test engineers to validate more devices per hour than they can with currently available models.

Tunable lasers, in combination with optical power meters and a polarization controller, are used to measure the filter slope, isolation, polarization dependence, insertion loss and reflectivity of multiplexers/demultiplexers, channel interleavers and wavelength-selective switches used in reconfigurable optical fiber networks. The cascading of filter shapes from ROADMs (reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers) along the path of today’s fast modulation-broadened signals makes it critical for component manufacturers to comply with nearly ideal channel specifications, leaving little to no room for measurement uncertainty.

The 81606A tunable laser source addresses the needs of optical component makers for more efficient testing and better test margins with significantly enhanced functionality over the current 81600B laser, the industry standard for more than a decade. The tunable laser offers:

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  • 15 dB more dynamic range through higher signal power with lower spontaneous emission, enabled by the new cavity and laser module design
  • 4-fold improvement in absolute accuracy with increased real-time tracking speed and resolution, enabled by the novel wavelength reference unit
  • 40 times faster sweeps without impacting the specified dynamic accuracy, enabled by enhanced feedback controls and drive mechanics

Combining these latest developments with nearly two decades of experience in sweeping tunable lasers, the 81606A is engineered for the highest reliability and long-term stability. Compatibility with the current 81600B laser commands and N7700A photonic application suite makes it easy for engineers to transition smoothly or expand to the new 81606A.

“When component developers validate their designs, they want to get maximum confidence from their measurements in virtually no time,” said Dr. Joachim Peerlings, marketing manager of Keysight’s Digital and Photonic Test Division. “We designed the 81606A tunable laser source with that goal in mind. An innovative, autonomous wavelength reference unit and a new cavity design, push current benchmarks for measurement accuracy, dynamic range and test time, while ensuring the highest long-term stability and enabling cost-efficient servicing.”


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