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Leading Companies Announce Enhancements to MSA Standard For Athermal Arrayed Waveguide Grating Modules

Tokyo, San Jose January 4, 2010 - NEL, Hitachi Cable, Gemfire, Furukawa Electric, JDSU and NeoPhotonics, leading companies in the planar lightwave circuit (PLC) passive components industry, today announced an enhanced Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) that provides a standardized form factor for Arrayed Waveguide Grating (AWG) Modules with an athermal configuration.

Athermal AWGs provide multiplexing and demultiplexing for DWDM optical equipment through a common interface.  The athermal design compensates for temperature passively and requires no electrical power, reducing overall system power requirements.

The MSA enables equipment manufacturers to choose from multiple suppliers for the standardized product, helping to reduce lead times and cost. Version 3.0 of the MSA has been published and contains descriptions of the standard, small form factor and athermal AWG packages.  For more information, please see the AWG MSA website at

“The athermal AWG MSA helps solutions providers like JDSU supply cost effective products to network equipment manufacturers,” said Ben Hua, Product Line Manager in the CCOP business segment at JDSU.  “It will also help system designers save on electrical power and extend the athermal AWG application into new areas where there is no electrical power.”

“With power consumption becoming an ever more critical parameter in advanced telecom systems, NEL expects that the new athermal AWG MSA will lead to more rapid adoption of this power saving green technology,” said Yoshio Itaya, Executive Managing Director of Photonics Business Group of NEL Corporation.

“Athermal AWGs are attractive and cost effective due to the elimination of the power supply control.  Hitachi Cable expects the newly created MSA standard will accelerate the worldwide deployment of DWDM based optical network systems,” said Tomohisa Henmi, General Manager of Optical Transmission Components and Equipment Dept. of Hitachi Cable. 

“Eliminating the requirement for electrical power is particularly important in access networks, where the AWG must be located outside plant Gemfire believes that applications such as WDM-PON will be accelerated through the availability of MSA standard parts,” said Nigel Cockroft, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Gemfire Corporation. 

“Athermal AWGs are now commonly used in Reconfigurable Add Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) nodes to provide multiplexing and demultiplexing of local traffic.  The availability of an MSA standard will make it simpler for equipment companies to accommodate multiple vendors,” said Toshihiko Ota, Manager of Telecommunications Company of Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. 

“The current MSA for thermally stabilized AWGs has been very successful in providing customers with certainty of footprint and supply and NeoPhotonics expects the new athermal AWG MSA to bring these benefits to the emerging market for athermal devices,” said Ferris Lipscomb, Vice President of Marketing of NeoPhotonics Corporation.

The AWG MSA group is an open forum, welcoming applications from AWG manufacturers that wish to join.  For more information on detailed technical specifications or joining the MSA, please contact the following MSA representatives:

Gemfire Corp., Nigel Cockroft,

Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd, Toshihiko Ota,

Hitachi Cable, Susumu Himi,

NEL, Tommy Yamada,
NeoPhotonics Corp., G. Ferris Lipscomb,

JDSU, Ben Hua,

About Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd

Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd was founded in 1884 and since that time has played a dominant role in the growth of the global marketplace. Since manufacturing the world's first optical fiber cable in 1974, Furukawa has lead the development of optical fibers by establishing a total production system for products ranging from high-performance silica-based optical fibers to a variety of optical components such as optical amplifiers, pump lasers and Planar Lightwave Circuit products manufactured under the brand name "FITEL".  For more detailed information, visit our website:
About Gemfire Corp.
Gemfire is a leading supplier of high performance integrated planar lightwave circuit products for DWDM Telecom applications. The company is headquartered in Fremont, California and has high volume manufacturing facilities in both California and Livingston, Scotland.  For more detailed information, visit our web site:

About Hitachi Cable

Hitachi Cable, Ltd., is the solution provider supporting daily global communication needs, by innovating a variety of cabling products from Optical Fiber Cables (Terrestrial and Submarine), Base Transmitting Station Cables and Antennas, FTTH components and Optical Transceivers. Hitachi Cable, as an original leading manufacturer of Array Waveguide Gratings filters, Interleavers and Splitters based on Planar Lightwave Circuit technology, has supported the key function of DWDM systems since its beginnings. For more detailed information, visit our web site:
About JDSU Corporation
JDSU (NASDAQ: JDSU; and TSX: JDU) enables broadband and optical innovation in the communications, commercial and consumer markets. JDSU is the leading provider of communications test and measurement solutions and optical products for telecommunications service providers, cable operators, and network equipment manufacturers. JDSU is also a leading provider of innovative optical solutions for medical/environmental instrumentation, semiconductor processing, display, brand authentication, aerospace and defense, and decorative applications. More information is available at

About NeoPhotonics

NeoPhotonics Corporation is a leading developer and vertically integrated manufacturer of advanced integrated optical modules and subsystems designed to improve the performance and lower the costs associated with backbone and access optical networks.  They are at the forefront of the long sought-after integration of active semiconductor, passive PLC and MEMS multi-dimensional switching functions into a single product.  This integration is enabled by state-of-the-art integration, nanomaterials and nanoscale design and fabrication technologies.  Backed by leading venture capital firms and institutional investors, NeoPhotonics maintains headquarters in San Jose, California and ISO 9001:2000 certified engineering and manufacturing facilities in Silicon Valley and Shenzhen, China.  For more detailed information, visit our web site:

About NTT Electronics Corporation

NTT Electronics Corporation (NEL) is one of the NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation) group companies. It has been providing the state-of-the-art devices for optical telecommunications networks with collaboration with NTT laboratories, covering a wide range of products such as DWDM lasers, PLC-based passive components, ultra-high-speed electronic devices, digital video processing products, and datacom equipment.  For AWGs, in particular, NEL keeps on the first truck in terms of sales and technical performance. For more detailed information, visit our web site: