Patent Number: 6,310,690

Title: Dense wavelength division multiplexer utilizing an asymmetric pass band interferometer

Abstract: The present invention provides an improvement in the separation mechanism to be used in a dense wavelength division multiplexer. The separation mechanism in accordance with the present invention includes an asymmetric pass band interferometer. The interferometer includes a first glass plate optically coupled to a second glass plate, forming a space therebetween; a first reflective coating with a first reflectivity residing inside the space and on the first glass plate; a second reflective coating with a second reflectivity residing inside the space and on the second glass plate; a first waveplate with a first optical retardance residing inside the space; and a second waveplate with a second optical retardance, optically coupled to the first glass plate and residing outside the space, where a combination of values for the first reflectivity, the first optical retardance, and the second optical retardance effect a separation of channels in at least one optical signal into at least two sets, and where the at least two sets have asymmetrically interleaved pass bands. The asymmetric pass band interferometer in accordance with the present invention is capable of separating channels from signals with different data transfer rates. With the present invention, a maximum use of available bandwidth on an optical fiber may be accomplished. An added functionality of the asymmetric pass band interferometer of the present invention is the ability to facilitate an asymmetric or uneven add/drop function while also separating the channels.

Inventors: Cao; Simon X. F. (San Mateo, CA), Mao; Xiaoping (Plano, TX)

Assignee: Avanex Corporation

International Classification: G01J 3/12 (20060101); G01J 3/26 (20060101); G02B 6/34 (20060101); G01B 009/02 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018