October 2007: Fiber alignment package awarded with the R&D 100 Awards
One of the 100 most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace in 2006 was developed by Professor Kenji Uchino of Micromechatronics Inc. in cooperation with three other prominent researchers.For 45 years, the prestigious R&D 100 Awards have been helping companies provide the important initial push a new product needs to compete successfully in the marketplace. The winning of an R&D 100 Award provides a mark of excellence known to industry, government, and academia as proof that the product is one of the most innovative ideas of the year.
High speed transmission of data
The product awarded is a new device to make laser-to-fiber and fiber-to-fiber connections within optical fiber packages. The device offers an economically viable method of aligning and realigning optical fibers.
The optical fiber infrastructure that allows the high-speed transmission of data in modern communications relies on the precise connection of lasers to fiber, as well as the multiple connections of fiber to fiber across tens of thousands of miles of transmission lines. The expense of connecting high-speed optical fiber for the potential millions of individual users, the so-called "last mile" problem, has slowed the spread of high speed optical transmission to the home computer, especially in the U.S. market.
The awarded device, called an Integrated Fiber Alignment Package (IFAP), is designed to offer the precision alignment of expensive active connector systems with the convenience of passive connectors that hold fibers in place mechanically. In addition the IFAP makes realignment of fibers simple.
The IFAP uses an inexpensive and highly durable low temperature co-fired ceramics package to house a piezoelectric micromotor, which is less than half the size of a penny.The motor controls a slider that holds and adjusts the position of the fiber with two degrees of movement and with 100-nanometer precision. The motor is controlled by an external drive circuitry with optical intensity feedback, which allows precise alignment, and if necessary realignment of the fibers in the field. The external drive circuitry can be connected to a laptop computer and the adjustments made using the computer's mouse or keyboard.
Doctor S.H.Park joining Micromechatronics Inc.
- We are proud to announce that one of the co-inventors, Doctor Seung Ho Park, will join Micromechatronics Inc. as a research engineer, Professor Kenji Uchino states. - The development of the IFAP was part of his Ph. D. dissertation.