TOKYO – July 28, 2011 –Alps Electric has developed the FLGS3 Series aspherical glass lens for optical communication. The FLGS3 Series lens has high optical coupling efficiency and is compatible with wide-angle laser diodes. Mass production and shipments commence in July 2011.
The rising popularity of smartphones in markets worldwide and increasing use of the Internet for activities like video distribution have boosted demand for fast, high-capacity communication networks. High-speed, low-loss optical technology enables broad application of fast, high-capacity communication, in submarine cable networks linking the countries of the world through to short-distance subscriber networks (FTTH) for offices and households. Optical communication is the transmission of data which has been converted into light signals. The medium is usually via optical fiber, which is exceptionally light and robust and has the advantage of low susceptibility to the effects of electromagnetic waves.
Transceiver modules employing glass lenses are used for optical communication, in submarine cables and base stations. Aspherical glass lenses, in particular, are ideal for transmitting light signals to optical fiber with low loss and have recently been incorporated into palm-size projectors. Consumer appliance applications are growing.
The FLGS3 Series is a highly efficient 1 × 1mm square aspherical glass lens—the industry’s smallest.
Alps harnessed technologies accumulated through more than 20 years serving the optical communication market—in the areas of optical design, mechanical design, mold and die manufacturing, molding, and simulation—to expand the effective numerical aperture (NA) to 0.65 × 0.13 (from 0.5 × 0.1) while retaining the industry’s smallest size, and as a result raise optical coupling efficiency, which is a measure of light transmission efficiency, to 73% from 68%. With low loss, the light input required for a given output is smaller. This contributes to low power consumption, and also restricts heat generation, thereby enabling application in low-price modules that do not require Peltier devices*1 or other cooling components. The lens is also ideal for high-brightness projector applications.
Furthermore, the FLGS3 Series lens is made from lead-free glass, achieving compliance with both RoHS 6*2 and REACH regulations. This is one product which, as well as contributing to reduced power consumption by optical communication modules, helps to lower environmental impact.