Alps Alpine has developed the FLHL2 Series Lens Array with Mirror for optical transceivers that are used, for example, in optical networks for data centres. The recent rise in application of IoT technology and Artificial Intelligence points to an expected threefold increase in global IP traffic between 2017 and 2022.
This will be buoyed further by other trends, such as the introduction of 5G mobile and wireless networks. Optical transceivers used in facilities like data centres will need to be much faster and have higher density, demanding even greater size reductions and high density mounting of the components inside them.
Responding to these needs, Alps Alpine has developed the FLHL2 Series, with a 0.75mm lens pitch and dimensions of 1.3x1.3x3.5mm, which integrates condenser lens and mirror components of an optical transceiver receiver. Lenses and mirror previously had to be positioned separately to convey light to the photodiode.
Integrating these two components helps to reduce the number of parts and shorten the optical distance, thereby contributing to downsizing of optical transceivers. Cutting the number of components also reduces the work required for transceiver assembly, leading to lower costs.
The FLHL2 Series - mass production will begin in August this year - was designed for existing optical transceivers, but Alps Alpine also looks to develop lens arrays with 0.5mm and 0.25mm lens pitches in anticipation of future market requirements for downsizing and multi-channel transceivers as IoT spreads and 5G services are introduced.
Alps Alpine has been a leader in the market for optical communication lenses since developing one of the world’s smallest glass lenses for submarine cables in 2000. Applying optical design technology built up over many years, the company will continue to support the realisation of high speed data communication as part of a connected society.