Integrated optical circuits have the potential to be inexpensive devices suitable for mass manufacture, with complex functionality and reproducible properties. In optical networks such as those envisioned for digital telephony in Germany and for CATV services, optical power is exhausted at the curb, and the signal from an optical channel termination must be carried electrically to a number of end users. The EU RACE project R2109 LIASON has proposed a "lossless splitter," combining an upstream amplifier section and a downstream splitter to extend the optical network into customer premises [1]. The combination of stringent fabrication tolerances and a large potential market makes an integrated optical circuit an ideal solution. In the LIASON project this circuit will be realised using ion-exchanged waveguides in a dual glass substrate, one portion - the amplifier section - doped with erbium and the other undoped. The most stringent requirements arise from the 1×16 CATV lossless splitter [1], which demands a gain of about 13 dB and a noise figure of better than 5.4 dB for a coupled 980 nm pump power of 70 mW. We describe here the status of our development of the amplifying portion of this device.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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