Test & Measurement

New LXI MEMs-based optical fibre switches now available

21st November 2022
Beth Floyd

Pickering Interfaces, a supplier of modular signal switching and simulation solutions for use in electronic test and verification, introduced new models in its range of space-saving, versatile optical switches with the launch of the 65-280 (matrix) and 65-281 (multiplexer) plug-ins for the LXI 65-200 platform. The 65-28x plug-ins feature a range of high-density configurations up to 16x16 (matrix) and 32:1 (multiplexer) for a single plug-in. The new topologies fit well with the LXI platform, as its larger real estate permits up to six plug-ins in a single 2U 65-200 chassis.

The new matrix and MUX devices utilise MEMS technology, employing micro-mechanical mirrors to steer the optical signal, as opposed to optical prism devices. This reduces operation time, extends service life and reduces physical size. The 65-280 plug-ins have five different matrix options - 2x2, 4x4, 5x5, 8x8 & 16x16, while the 65-281 plug-ins are available in 1:1 (SPST), 2:1, 4:1, 8:1, 16:1 & 32:1 multiplexer variants. Each family can have multiple banks of smaller switch sizes per plug-in, dependent on switch size and interface connector type. To cater to most applications, the products are available with either single-mode (9/125), multi-mode (50/125) or multi-mode (62.5/125) fibre. A choice of connectors - FC/APC, FC/PC, SC/PC, LC or ST - enables the most suitable interface to be selected for the application.

Steve Edwards, Switching Product Manager at Pickering, commented: “The 65-200 platform provides triggering and scan list sequencing, both of which can be used to increase the efficiency of test systems by allowing predefined test sequences to be loaded onto the unit and executed automatically. Also, as the plug-ins are based on the 65-200 platform, maintenance is simplified since plug-ins are loaded into the front of the chassis allowing removal and replacement without having to remove the chassis from the system cabinet.”

Optical switching suits applications in the telecommunications sector, such as signal routing of high-speed signals in a network infrastructure where minimising signal latency and preventing errors is essential. In addition to the new LXI matrix and multiplexer plug-ins, Pickering has also updated its PXI 4x-850A (SP4T), 4x-852A (SP8T), 4x-855A (SP2T) & 4x-860A (2x2 insert/bypass) families to provide PXIe options, and specific versions are also now available with LED switch status indication. Pickering also offers a custom design service providing alternative matrix/multiplexer sizes as required by the application.

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