Reflex Photonics demonstrates its LightABLE transceivers can drive older 100 µm fiber optic cables, extending aircraft life and reducing upgrade cost.

LightABLE optical transceiver delivers error-free operation at 10 Gbps with older 100 µm fiber thus, alleviating the need to replace the installed optical cables.

Reflex Photonics is proud to announce its LightABLE™ embedded optical module has demonstrated that it can directly drive 100 µm fiber optic cables commonly found in older aircraft, eliminating the need to re-cable the aircraft to achieve higher interconnect bandwidth.
New or upgraded sensors and computer systems offer great benefits to existing military and commercial aircraft but often necessitate interconnect bandwidth of 10 Gbps or more. Unfortunately, replacing older 100 µm optical fibers in aircraft to support this higher bandwidth can be prohibitively expensive. Reflex Photonics solved this problem by demonstrating its LightABLE optical transceiver delivers error-free operation at 10 Gbps with older 100 µm fiber thus, alleviating the need to replace the installed optical cables.
In addition, the LightABLE transceiver will operate with newer 50 µm fiber (OM3, OM4, or OM5) to deliver interconnect bandwidth well beyond 25 Gbps on distances up to 100 m.

Reflex Photonics develops and produces rugged high-speed optical transceivers for Military, Industrial, and Commercial communications. LightABLE is a chip size embedded optical transceiver capable of transmitting or receiving 150 Gbps over 12 parallel lanes in harsh environments where temperatures extremes of -57ºC to 125ºC is common. A unique feature of the LightABLE is its compatibility with low-cost mass production solder reflow processes. Optical modules in general will not survive solder reflow temperatures of 220ºC and must be either socketed or hand soldered. LightABLE reflow ability gives low assembly cost, strong attachment, low profile, and excellent signal integrity.

Gerald Persaud, Vice President of Business Development commented:

We are excited to demonstrate the flexibility of our LightABLE optical module by offering a simple but effective way to upgrade aircraft interconnect bandwidth with no change to the installed fiber plant. This is another example of LightABLE exceeding performance expectations.

Optical transceivers empower wafer defect review system and offer the most viable data transfer solution for advanced machine vision challenges.

Hiigh-speed optical transceivers offer the most flexible solution to the data transfer issues faced by scanning electron microscope (SEM)-based semiconductor defect review system and machine vision integrators.

Reflex Photononics’ high-speed optical transceivers offer the most flexible solution to the data transfer issues faced by scanning electron microscope (SEM)-based semiconductor defect review system and machine vision integrators.
These integrators are faced with the challenge of embedding sensors with high resolution and high frame rates. Furthermore, new intelligent machines with real-time adaptive process enabling more accurate defect classification, also rely on faster and better data transfer. These challenges cannot be met efficiently and reliably with copper-based data transfer solutions: for data integrity, link reliability, and error-free data transfer at rates superior to 10 Gbps, optical link becomes the only viable solution.
The LightABLE SR12 and the SNAP12 embedded transceivers are used to transfer up to 150 Gbps from SEM defect-review system sensor to the system microcontroller or computer. These optical components are tested to give BER under E-15 over -40 ºC to 100 ºC operating temperature range. Our transceivers offer maximum flexibility in terms of board mounting options and facilitate board design. In addition, our optical transceivers can also be used on the control path where they enable sending of control data to help complex process adapt in real time.

Guillaume Blanchette, PM at Reflex Photonics, adds.

The chipmakers defect review challenges are growing as processes move to smaller and smaller node technology like 10 nm and 7 nm. The ability to discriminate killer defect from viable defect rely more and more on high-end imaging techniques.
The sensor resolution and capture speed must increase at the same time to improve the machine throughput and keep capturing the smallest defect efficiently. Only optical interconnect can break the data transfer bottleneck of these advanced defect review systems and machine vision applications.

Reflex Photonics to attend Space Tech Expo Europe

Reflex Photonics will be present at the Space Tech Expo Europe conference.

The free-to-attend Space Tech Expo & Conference is Europe's meeting place for space business, technology & innovation. The three-day trade fair will showcase the latest from technical designers, sub-system suppliers, manufacturers and components through the systems integrators for civil, military and commercial space.

The Expo will be held from October 24th to 26th in Bremen, Germany

Please contact Sales to plan a meeting. 

Reflex Photonics to present paper at AVFOP 2017

A paper written by Mr. J. Lauzon, T. Oleszczak, and S. El Kharraz and entitled Board Edge Mount Active Optical Connector  will be presented at the Avionics and Vehicle Fiber-Optics and Photonics Conference 2017 (AVFOP).

Summary of the article

Reflex Photonics Inc. has developed compact 40G full duplex (4+4) 10Gbps/lane optical fiber transceivers for harsh environment applications such as Aerospace and Defense.
These products were made to be embedded on printed-circuit boards in close proximity to high speed electronics in high performance embedded computing systems to optimize their performance. Going one step further, the industry was asking for these transceivers to be integrated in board edge connectors to free-up more space on the board and avoid optical fiber handling. This implied important challenges for bi-planar position tolerancing between the electrical interface on a horizontal board and the optical interface based on a multi-fiber MT ferrule, in an orthogonal plane. We will present how these challenges were confronted with success.

The final configuration of the active optical connector is called the LightCONEX. 

Avionics and Vehicle Fiber-Optics and Photonics Conference
November 7 to 9, 2017

Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
New Orleans, Louisiana USA

Learn more about the AVFOP Conference 

New SNAP12 120G for machine vision and avionic IFES applications with operation temperature rating up to 95 ºC.

New SNAP12 120G for machine vision and avionic IFES applications with operation temperature rating up to 95 ºC.

Reflex Photonics is proud to announce the launch of new SNAP12 120G modules targeting advanced manufacturing, industrial automation, and machine vision markets. The operation temperature now ranges from −40 ºC to 95 ºC. Reflex Photonics is also continuously improving its SNAP12 range for its current inflight entertainment system (IFES) clients.
This SNAP12 is directly addressing technical needs brought by the increasing data bandwidth demand of high-speed and high-resolution machine vision systems developed to tackle advanced manufacturing and automation challenges.
Reflex Photonics’ new SNAP12 are offered in both commercial (0 ºC to 70 ºC) and industrial operating temperatures (−40 ºC to 95 ºC) ranges at speeds up to 120 Gbps with data rate up to 10.3125 Gbps per lane. These modules underwent extensive testing to meet requirements for harsh environments and are 100% compatible with the industry standards.

SNAP12 are 12-lane parallel optical modules with a standard chassis-mount MPO interface. They are self-contained electrical-to-optical converters requiring no internal fiber management or handling. This is important for clients that prefer not to handle fragile optical cables. The simplicity and performance of SNAP12 makes them ideal module for many avionics, defense, industrial automation, and medical applications.

Guillaume Blanchette, product manager, adds:

Reflex Photonics is eager to support customers with their advanced manufacturing, automation, and machine vision designs and applications.
Reflex Photonics’ SNAP12 optical modules continue to be the product of choice for commercial avionic inflight entertainment systems.
We are committed to long-term support for the SNAP12 and to the broadening of this product line for higher data rates and I/O.

Rugged Optical Transceivers for Embedded Computing Systems

The objective of this white paper is to show how important and critical optical interconnect is becoming in the development of high-performance embedded systems.
By: Gérald Persaud, VP Business Development and Michel Têtu, Senior Business Development Advisor

Embedded Systems Market to Reach $133B by 2020*

Eyes and ears everywhere

For military and aerospace applications, C4ISR (Command, Control, Compute, Communicate, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) is invaluable for almost instantaneous high-end decision making. 

*: MarketsandMarkets

Command, Control, Compute, Communicate, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance

Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Process

The Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance process (ISR) requires the collection and processing of signals generated by a large amount of sensors of various types like active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars, high resolution cameras, sonars and so on. Analog signals are digitized and transmitted to a high performance embedded computing unit (HPEC) for data fusion and processing through high bit-rate fiber-optic links. Through deep learning algorithms, actions to be taken are identified and communicated to decisional centers. 

ISR Technology Trends

HPEC are made of multiple high-speed microprocessors, memory and storage set on electronic boards usually interconnected through copper backplane circuitry.
However with the data rate of these interconnects reaching over 10 Gbps, optical interconnects begin to be the preferred choice due to their high bandwidth, high density I/O, low loss, low weight, and immunity against EMI.

  • Sensors: higher resolution cameras and radars
  • Processor: multicore, low power GPGPU, GPP, FPGA
  • Storage: solid state, small, rugged, reliable (RAID)
  • Sensor fusion: correlate information from sensors
  • Computing: Virtualization, parallel processing 
  • Small SWaP: more capability for SFF (3U VPX)
  • All digital: multi-purposed, software defined functionality
  • Intelligent: learning machines
  • Data rich: real-time and historical data
  • Secure: hack-resistant communications
  • Reliable: no single point failure
  • Small: more payload for other systems
  • Scalable: simple upgrades, long life
  • Multi-purposed: target ID, weather, communications.
Computerized Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance

Illustration of the relation between the different elements of C4ISR systems (Command, Control, Compute, Communicate, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance).

Applications of optical interconnect in some high-performance systems

Space Fence Radar: Toward all-digital AESA radar

Learn more on the Space Fence project 

US Air Force Space Surveillance Network

Active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar
  • Detect, track, catalog satellites and debris on earth orbits
Transmitter array
  • S-Band (2 GHz to 4 GHz)
  • 36 000 independent radiating elements
  • Can generate thousands of radar beams
Receiver array
  • Separate from transmitter array
  • 86 000 independent receiving elements
  • DBF and frequency multiplexing allow for thousands of received beams
Space fence US Air force Space Surveillance Network

ISR technology trends: BAE ARGUS IS system

Learn more on the BAE ARGUS system

  • Four high-resolution visible light cameras
  • Uses 368 CCD COTS 5 Mp cameras
  • 4×48 fiber optical ribbon cables
  • 16×SNAP 12 @ 3 Gbps offering 600 Gbps total I/O throughput

Optical interconnect is used on ARGUS IS system

  • High BW, low latency
  • Small SWaP
  • High density
  • Defines system performance
Optical interconnect in BAE Argus IS
Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System (ARGUS-IS)

Electrical vs optical interconnect power consumption

This diagram shows a rough evaluation of electrical power consumption for the connection of a sensor to an embedded computer system. Here we only consider the front-end of each system. Optic interconnect need 2 to 3 times less power than an electrical connection.

Electrical vs optical interconnect power consumption

Summary of Embedded Optics Benefits

LighABLE embedded transceiver

Reflex Photonics chip size rugged parallel optic transceivers meet the requirements for harsh environment applications. 

Performance

  • Proven: Thousands used in aerospace and defense applications
  • Scalable BW: 28 Gbps+
  • Receiver sensitivity: –12 dBm
  • Low bit error rates: 10−15
  • Low loss: 0.003 dB/m (OM3 @850 nm)
  • Reach: 300 m (OM3 @10G)
480G full duplex I/O card

480G full duplex I/O. FPGA processors, server cards, and cellular systems.

 

Small SWaP-C

  • Chip size optical transceivers
  • Less than 5 mm high
  • Light weight electronics and glass fiber
  • I/O density: 48 fibers in MT connector
  • Low power consumption: 1.2 W for 12 lanes @10 Gbps
Optic fiber offer much better I/O density that copper interconnect.

Micro-coaxial connectors compared to optical MT ferrule connector

 

Rugged

  • Complies with Telcordia GR-468-CORE and MIL-STD-883E standards for severe environmental conditions.
  • Operating temperature: −40 °C to 85 °C operation @ 10 Gbps
  • Storage temperature: − 57 °C to 125 °C
  • Moisture and thermal shock resistant
  • EMI and EMP immune
Optic fiber are immune to electro magnetic interferences.

Harsh environment

 

VPX optical interconnect standards

ANSI/VITA Standard

  • ANSI/VITA 66.0: Optical Interconnect On VPX
  • ANSI/VITA 66.1: Full Size MT Variant
  • ANSI/VITA 66.2: ARINC 801 Variant
  • ANSI/VITA 66.3: Mini-Expended Beam Variant
  • ANSI/VITA 66.4: Half Size MT Variant
VITA 66.X standard
VITA 66.X standard

Image courtesy of TE Connectivity

VITA 66.4 backplane
VITA 66.4 standard

Image courtesy of ELMA

Under consideration

VITA 65: Open VPX
VITA 67.3C: VPX: Coaxial & Optical Interconnect,
VITA 76: High Performance Cable Standard
VITA 78: Space VPX Systems
VITA 78.1: Space VPX Lite
VITA 74 VNX: Small Form Factor VPX

VITA 67.3C standard
VITA 67.3C standard

Image courtesy of TE Connectivity

LightCONEX blind mate optical interconnect

For a higher level of integration, Reflex Photonics in collaboration with Amphenol Aerospace, developed optical blind mate connectors where the optical transceiver is directly embedded in the plug-in module connector  following ANSI/VITA VPX technology.

  • Supports 2 level maintenance
  • Integrates optical transceiver into plug-in module connector
  • Less board space needed for optical interface
  • Fits VITA 66.4 backplane aperture for upgrades
  • No need for fiber optic handling
VPX board with VITA 46 and LightCONEX plug-in connectors.

VPX board with VITA 46 and LightCONEX plug-in connectors.

VPX backplane with LightCONEX blind mate optic

ELMA 3U VPX backplane with VITA 46 and LightCONEX connectors.

VPX backplane with LightCONEX blind mate optic

Close-up of the LightCONEX plug-in module connector.

VPX backplane with LightCONEX blind mate optic

Close-up of the LightCONEX backplane connector.

VPX optical solutions with Reflex Photonics embedded optics

Amphenol VPX media converter

  • 6U VPX media converter
  • Converts backplane high-speed signal to front optical and electrical Ethernet I/O
  • 32 × 10G BASE SR in a VITA 66.1 connector
  • 4 × 10G BASE-T and 8 × 1G BASE-T
Amphenol VPX media converter. Converts backplane high-speed signal to front optical and electrical Ethernet I/O

Interface Concept Optical FMC Board

  • Transceiver board (12TX + 12RX)
  • 120 Gbps full duplex
  • Supports front panel Optical Interface
  • Interfaces with 3U VPX FPGA boards
 New generation Optical FMC cards use LightABLE LH SR12 embedded optical transceivers.

Meritec Active Optical Module

  • Extends electrical reach to 100 m @10Gbps
  • Converts electrical to optical signals
  • Size 17 VITA 76 electrical connector
  • 12-lane MT optical in a size 11 shell
Meritec Active Optical Module.  Converts electrical to optical signals Size 17 VITA 76 electrical connector 12-lane MT optical in a size 11 shell.

In conclusion

Reflex Photonics rugged parallel optic transceivers meet the requirements for harsh environment applications and offer:

High performance with less SWaP-C

Operation under industrial temperature range (-40°C to 85°C) with BER as low as 10−15 delivering 10 Gbps/ch and –12 dBm sensitivity. Less than 5 mm high. Low power consumption 100 mW/ch.

Proven

Thousands used in aerospace and defense applications.

 

Rugged

Fully qualified following Telcordia GR-468-CORE and MIL-STD-883E standards for severe environmental conditions. 

Reliable

Successful 2500 h Accelerated Life Testing @ 100 °C.
Storage temperature from −57 °C to 125 °C.

Winning edge for design engineers

Reflex Photonics launches a line of Optical Testers to simplify testing of its LightABLE rugged transceivers and of optical interconnects.

The Optical Testers are the perfect vehicle for testing and experiencing the LightABLE SR4 and SR12 transceiver modules.

Recognizing the need for a ready-made test bench for its line of transceiver modules, Reflex Photonics introduces a complete line of Optical Tester for BER measurements on the LightABLE™ SR4 and SR12 rugged embedded transceivers and optical interconnects.
Currently, Reflex Photonics offers these different optical test instruments:

Optical Tester SR4 40G (Enables BER measurement)
Optical Tester SR12 120G (Enables BER measurement)
Optical Generator/Tester SR12 120G (Generates PRBS and includes BERT capability)

The Reflex Photonics Optical Testers will speed up the LightABLE performance validation and confirm successful integration into your system as it enables BER and eye diagram tests over the SR4 and SR12 transceivers. In addition, those products will enable your communication system BER assessment.
The Optical Generator/Tester integrates a PRBS (pseudo random bit signal) generator and an embedded BER measurement capability. This instrument acts like a BERT as it will directly perform optical communication system BER assessment. It will also act as an optical cross-connect OXC.

Dr. Jocelyn Lauzon, V.P. Engineering at Reflex Photonics adds: 

These products offer an efficient, proven, and elegant ready-made solution that takes the guesswork out of testing performance and functionality of Reflex Photonics’ LightABLE.
Obviously, you can do the characterization of our transceiver, but if you replace the loopback cable by a bi-directional parallel optic communication system, the Optical Tester can be used to characterize the performance of a whole communication system. The communication bit rate and protocol can be changed, so the Optical Tester can be used to test different system architectures.

Reflex Photonics announces new operating temperature absolute rating on the LightABLE

LightABLE embedded transceiver

Reflex Photonics has proven that its LightABLE™ multichannel 120 Gbps* rugged optical transceivers can withstand temperature ranging between −55 ºC and 100 ºC, thus reaffirming Reflex Photonics commitment in delivering first-in-class optical modules for harsh environment applications. 
Reflex Photonics is relentlessly testing its line of LightABLE transceivers and constantly improving their ruggedness.

Guillaume Blanchette, product manager, says:

We are quite excited to announce that our LightABLE transceivers can withstand temperature ranging between −55 ºC and 100 ºC. This result reaffirms the reliability of the Reflex Photonics LightABLE transceivers and the suitability of these products for field deployment in harsh environments such as those found in military and space applications.

*: SR12 version

Military Embedded Systems magazine interviews Mr. Gerry Persaud, V.P. Business Development

Mariana Iriarte, Associated Editor for Military Embedded Systems interviews Mr. Gerry Persaud, V.P. Business Development of Reflex Photonics on the challenges in the design process and where designs are trending for embedded optical modules.

 

Gerald Persaud V.P. Business Development

Embedded optics enabling higher bandwidth computing

Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems are driving the need for higher bandwidth computing and engineers have turned to ruggedized fiber optics to meet that demand. In this Q&A with Gerald Persaud, Vice President, Business Development at Reflex Photonics, discusses the challenges in the design process and where designs are trending for embedded optical modules; VITA Standards; and how secure communications, ISR, and radar systems are taking advantage of the technology.…Read the full article

LightABLE embedded transceiver demonstrate their ruggedness with successful Accelerated Life Testing.

LightABLE LH product series being submitted to Accelerated Life Testing against MIL-STD-883J, method 1005, cond. D, June 2013.

Reflex Photonics is proud to announce that its LightABLE™ LH Series SR4 full-duplex 4 lane transceiver have proven they can withstand 2000 hours of “Lifetime Test” with no degradation of their performance. The successful completion of this industry-standard test is a first step in Reflex Photonics’ comprehensive space qualification program for its rugged transceivers.
A group of modules from the LightABLE LH product series were submitted to a “Lifetime Test” against MIL-STD-883J, method 1005, cond. D, June 2013. The test is conducted at a case temperature of 100 °C, 15 °C more than the recommended maximum operating temperature.
These units were tested against Reflex Photonics’ final production test procedure on all 8 channels, at different intervals, and at 3 different operating temperatures: −40 °C, 23 °C, and 85 °C. Even after 2000 hours of exposure to 100 °C temperatures, the LightABLE units maintained their high operational performance.

This result confirms the long-term reliability of the Reflex Photonics LightABLE transceivers and the suitability of these products for field deployment in harsh environments such as those found in military and space applications.
The LightABLE products are parallel optic interconnects operating at 10 Gbps per lane and offering the following features: small SWaP, operation over a large temperature range
(-40 °C to 85 °C), storage temperature from -57 °C to 125 °C. The LightABLE can be surface mounted or plugged on a board, and will support high temperature reflow process and operation with a link budget better than 13 dB.

Mr. Jocelyn Lauzon, Product Line Manager at Reflex Photonics adds:

When products are exposed to temperature stresses in the field, Accelerated Life Testing is used to simulate product life. In order to accelerate aging, products are tested at temperatures above that of their normal operating temperature.
Defects or failure that would only show up after many years in the field at normal operating temperatures can be detected in short times in an Accelerated Life Test.