In the past the optical component market has been mainly driven by performances. Today, as the number of competitors has drastically increased, the system integrators have a wide range of possible suppliers and solutions giving them the possibility to be more focused on cost and also on footprint reduction. So, if performances are still essential, low cost and Small Form Factor issues are becoming more and more crucial in selecting components. Another evolution in the market is the current request of the optical system companies to simplify the supply chain in order to reduce the assembling and testing steps at system level. This corresponds to a growing demand in providing subassemblies, modules or hybrid integrated components: that means also Integration will be an issue in which all the optical component companies will compete to gain market shares. As we can see looking several examples offered by electronic market, to combine low cost and SFF is a very challenging task but Integration can help in achieving both features. In this work we present how these issues could be approached giving examples of some advanced solutions applied to LiNbO<sub>3</sub> modulators. In particular we describe the progress made on automation, new materials and low cost fabrication methods for the parts. We also introduce an approach in integrating optical and electrical functionality on LiNbO<sub>3</sub> modulators including RF driver, bias control loop, attenuator and photodiode integrated in a single device.
In order to couple the light emitted from a semiconductor laser into the core of an optical fiber, where the core and laser emitting are not matched, it is necessary to use a lens system. This lens system then focuses the divergent light into the fiber core; often this lens is fabricated on the end of the fiber. When the lens is on the end of the fiber, it must be fixed in place in front of the emitting laser using a method that will hold the fiber in position relative to the laser during the lifetime of the laser. This reliability requirement is particularly critical in the case of lasers with highly elliptical output beams. The tolerances for the displacement of the lensed fiber relative to the laser are extremely tight; a movement of less than 0.5 microns in the vertical direction can cause a drop in coupled power of greater than 10%. In this paper existing techniques of fixing the fiber relative to the laser are outlined and contrasted with an improved method using glass solder. The improved method is described with salient features such as the fixing of the fiber to a rigid support member and the laser welding process used to fix the rigid support member in front of the laser explained in detail. Other aspects of the laser design including thermal dissipation are also discussed in detail. Finite element analysis (FEA) was used extensively to demonstrate the capacity of the design. Device performance and reliability information is also presented, demonstrating the capability of this technique in the fixing of an optical fiber relative to a laser device.