22 January 2005 Optical MEMS: boom, bust, and beyond
Author Affiliations +
Optical Telecommunications bandwidth, spurred by the growth of the internet, experienced unprecedented growth in the late 1990's. The creation of new enterprises was vast and the expansion of established component, system and services companies was also breathtaking. This period of speculative growth was followed in 2001-2004 by one of the most significant market crashes in history. While $20B of venture capital was invested in optical telecom in the last 10 years, the vast majority of that has been written off in the last 4. Countless start-ups inaugurated with great fanfare at the end of the 20th century were unceremoniously shut down at the start of the 21st century.(1) As in all speculative bubbles innovative technologies were born and were buried. Nonetheless, new capabilities emerge from the chaos and disruption; one such example is the advent of Optical MEMS (MOEMS). Its development was vigorously pursued in both academic and corporate laboratories during the boom and, in the author's view; MOEMS constitutes a powerful and versatile tool set that will be an invaluable residual of the last few years. In Telecommunications, MOEMS have been proven to be the technology of choice for many optical switching and wavelength management applications.(2) Variable Optical Attenuators (VOA), Wavelength Blockers (WB), Dynamic Gain Equalizers (DGE), and most recently Wavelength Selective Switches (WSS) are being used in the numerous recent network deployments. Moreover, agile networks of the future will have MOEMS at every node. This presentation will provide an overview of the history of MOEMS in Telecommunications, discuss their byproducts and project the future of the technology.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Richard S. Payne, "Optical MEMS: boom, bust, and beyond", Proc. SPIE 5717, MEMS/MOEMS Components and Their Applications II, (22 January 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.601839; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.601839


Development of key devices used in optical cross-connects
Proceedings of SPIE (April 20 2001)
Optical MEMS: past, present and future
Proceedings of SPIE (October 13 2005)
Optical MEMS: boom, bust and beyond
Proceedings of SPIE (October 25 2005)
Spatial light modulators in telecommunication systems
Proceedings of SPIE (November 08 2001)
Technology of optical MEMS in optical communication
Proceedings of SPIE (May 07 2004)
A modified SPM based 2R regenerator based on an imbalanced...
Proceedings of SPIE (February 18 2011)

Back to Top