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BTG licenses the Electro-Absorption Modulator & Distributed FeedBack Laser Technologies to Mitsubishi Electric

BTG : 30 September, 2006  (Company News)
BTG, the intellectual property and technology commercialisation company, today announced that it has signed a licence agreement with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation for the Electro-Absorption Modulator and the Distributed Feedback laser technologies. Both of these technologies, used to produce high quality modulated optical signals at data rates of 1.0 Gbit/s and above, play an integral role in making more efficient use of long distance optical telecommunications networks.
The increasing demand on optical communication networks is forcing operators to adopt even higher capacity systems. As a result, systems manufacturers are looking for ways of increasing the operating speed of the active optical components that form the basis of these systems. DFB lasers, either directly modulated or monolithically integrated with EAMs to form electro-absorption modulated lasers, are one way to achieve this. According to Strategies Unlimited’s Laser Marketplace 2004 report, the market for telecommunication lasers, typically made out of EAMs and DFB lasers, reached $780 million in 2003 and is anticipated to grow by 22% to reach $950 million.

The EAM and DFB laser technologies were developed by researchers at Adastral Park, BT’s research and technology facility. BTG acquired rights to commercialise the portfolio of patents protecting these groundbreaking technologies from BT in 1998. BTG has already licensed both the EAM and DFB technologies to several manufacturers including, NEC Compound Semiconductor Devices Limited, a leading provider of optical and microwave devices, and is building on its commercialisation success by pursuing other key players in this market sector.

Christopher DeFusco, Vice President of BTG’s Optoelectronics Business Unit commented, “When BTG assessed this portfolio, we identified the EAM and DFB patents as having significant commercial value. EAMs and DFBs are widely used across the communications industry, and it is rewarding to see companies who are using these technologies in their networks recognising the need to take a licence. We hope to reach similar licence agreements with other optical communications companies.”

Peter Spours, Head of IP Exploitation at BT, said, “The patent portfolio arose from work carried out at Adastral Park on high-speed optical modulators. BT gave exclusive exploitation rights to the technology to BTG, who has since focused its commercialisation expertise and resources on specific geographic and market sectors enabling this technology to be licensed to a wider audience and freeing BT to focus on developing other intellectual property.”
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