March 20, 2001 — MUNICH, Germany — AIFOtec, an independent supplier of leading edge fiber-optic components, based in Martinsried near Munich, introduced itself and its products at the international Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC) in Anaheim, California.
“The hybrid integration of optical components in communication networks is foreseeable, leading to a new generation of highly competitive products,” says Dr. Bernd Hubner, co-founder and head of research and development, Optics with AIFOtec.
As early as the year before the 1999 launch of AIFOtec, a team of experts and scientists was set up to work on fiber grating laser technologies and passive Wavelength-Dense-Multiplexing (WDM) components. Today, the Munich facility has a 500-square-meter clean room space where high-performance components for high-speed fiber-optic networks are developed and manufactured. A range of coaxial and butterfly packaged lasers (Fabry-Perot and DFB types), as well as PIN photodiodes, are also produced at this facility.
The target market for AIFOtec’s product portfolio is the Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), where high product functionality at affordable costs will be key to success. Relatively high levels of manufacturing automation to maintain process repeatability, at high quality, will be a main focus for the company. An example of this will be the use in manufacture of a high precision laser welding technology, utilizing a special process to avoid component post-weld shift, resulting in greater alignment accuracy of key elements during assembly. This automated technique results in enhanced product performance, at higher yields and production efficiency, resulting in reduced per unit cost without any sacrifice in quality.
According to Hubner, AIFOtec’s future lies in developing and producing hybrid elements according to modular principles. In the past, optical components like laser diodes, multiplexers and receivers for high-speed networks were individually mounted and connected.. AIFOtec plans to integrate all of the components onto one single, hybrid, silicon chip. This not only saves space – the solution package will combine all of the necessary functions in a transmitter and a receiver module, at a substantially lower market price. The result: speedy availability of wide bandwidths for all residential users, as well as higher efficiency at a lower unit price. Digital data exchange in high-speed fiber-optic networks will therefore no longer be based on many small components but instead will use a single module.
AIFOtec based in Martinsried near Munich, Germany, was originally established in 1998 and specializes in the development and manufacture of fiber optic components, modules and sub-systems that receive and modify light signals and transmit them across high speed optical networks. Products are primarily targeted at, but no limited to, the Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) market.