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2021-09-20 from Menlo Systems:

ORS-Mini: ultrastable laser with 2 Hz linewidth as optical reference in field applications

Menlo Systems, leading supplier of precision photonics instruments, just released the ORS-Mini – an ultrastable laser with less than 2 Hz linewidth. Designed as a compact 19" rack module for field applications, the laser frequency stability of <5 · 10−15 in 1 s (MADEV) and phase noise of -94 dBc/Hz (at 10 kHz offset) are best in class. The system’s centerpiece is a 5 cm high-finesse ULE cavity, which has been licensed from the National Physical Laboratory (UK). The cubic cavity design provides the lowest vibration sensitivity reported to date and enables a rigid cavity mounting, allowing for mobile use of the apparatus. The system operates fully autonomously, can be intuitively controlled via touchscreen, and is remotely accessible via a network connection. The laser system is available at 1542 nm and at 1064 nm.

The ORS Mini has been conceived as ultrastable optical reference intended for terrestrial use and is ideally suited for applications in quantum computation, as a source of ultralow-noise microwaves for radar systems, as a flywheel in optical clocks, for frequency dissemination via optical fibers, or in various spectroscopic experiments.

About Menlo Systems:

Menlo Systems GmbH is a leading developer and global supplier of instrumentation for high-precision metrology. The company with headquarters in Martinsried near Munich is known for its Nobel Prize winning optical frequency comb technology. With subsidiaries in the US and China and a global distributor network, Menlo Systems is closely connected to its customers from science and industry. The main product lines are optical frequency combs, time and frequency distribution, terahertz systems, ultra-fast and ultrastable lasers, and corresponding control electronics. Besides standard production, Menlo Systems develops and manufactures custom made solutions for laser-based precision measurements.

About NPL:

NPL is the UK’s National Metrology Institute, providing the measurement capability that underpins the UK's prosperity and quality of life.

From new antibiotics to tackle resistance and more effective cancer treatments, to secure quantum communications and superfast 5G, technological advances must be built on a foundation of reliable measurement to succeed. Building on over a century’s worth of expertise, our science, engineering and technology provides this foundation. We save lives, protect the environment and enable citizens to feel safe and secure, as well as support international trade and commercial innovation. As a national laboratory, our advice is always impartial and independent, meaning consumers, investors, policymakers and entrepreneurs can always rely on the work we do.

Based in Teddington, south-west London, NPL employs over 600 scientists. NPL also has regional bases across the UK, including at the University of Surrey, the University of Strathclyde, the University of Cambridge and the University of Huddersfield's 3M Buckley Innovation Centre.

NPL is also working on space deployable versions of the cubic cavity with application to future space-based ultra-stable lasers and optical clocks.

2021-09-03 from MPB Communications:

MPBC 100 W CW 1178 nm Raman fiber amplifier (RFA) powers ESO’s New 63 W experimental guide star laser

September 2, 2021 - : Based on the MPB Communications Inc’s (MPBC) 100 W CW 1178 nm, single-mode, single frequency, linearly polarized Raman fiber amplifier (RFA), a novel European Southern Observatory (ESO) experimental laser of 63 W CW at 589 nm was commissioned for on-sky operation at the Allgäuer VolksSternwarte Ottobeuren observatory in Germany and tested for two weeks in July 2021.

This laser is to form part of the CaNaPy Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics facility, set to be installed at the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Optical Ground Station in Tenerife, Spain, in the frame of the joint ESO-ESA R&D collaborative efforts.

Powered by the MPBC 100 W CW 1178 nm, single-mode, single frequency, linearly polarized Raman fiber amplifier (RFA), first announced by the company at the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation Conference in 2018, the new experimental laser provides an unprecedented level of power, almost three times that of the current generation SodiumStar manufactured by MPB and Toptica Photonics and deployed at ESO’s Very Large Telescope as well as observatories worldwide.

MPBC is a Licensee of the ESO Fiber Raman Amplifier Technology developed and transferred by ESO. The MPBC PM RFA is an adaptation of the narrow-band RFA technology developed by ESO. The key challenge in amplifying a narrow-band signal to such high-power levels in an RFA is overcoming the limitation imposed by Stimulated Brillouin Scattering (SBS), a non-linear optical effect.

The MPBC 100 W CW 1178 nm unit uses a two-stage polarization-maintaining (PM) RFA counter-pumped by a PM 1120-nm fiber laser to amplify a linearly-polarized 15-mW narrow-linewidth 1178-nm seed laser. Efficient suppression of stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) pushes the SBS threshold above 100 W. Through careful selection of Raman fiber types and lengths, the Raman conversion efficiency is maximized thereby mitigating thermal loads on critical optical components, thus maintaining long-term reliability.

This state-of-the-art development facilitates new Laser guide star (LGS) applications including the implementation of LGS adaptive optics systems in satellite ground stations for optical feeder links. While the next generation of satellite constellations provide unprecedented capacity through the use of optical inter-satellite links, there is still a capacity bottleneck at the RF feeder links from satellite to ground stations, which are a magnitude slower in moving data. In order to move to all optical feeder links, there is a challenge to overcome the distortion associated with atmospheric turbulence. LGS adaptive optics systems are a key enabling technology to help solve this beam wander problem for ground to space optical systems.

The new 100 W RFA complements MPB Communications' multiple activities in satellite optical communications, which includes the development and supply of very high-power amplifiers for ground-to-space communications, as well as the supply of space-based optical amplifiers for inter-satellite communications for deployment in next-generation optical satellite constellations.

About MPB Communications Inc.

MPBC is a leading supplier of innovative, high-performance fiber laser and fiber amplifier systems and subsystems to the international high-tech industry. The head office, research laboratories and manufacturing facilities are located in Montreal, Quebec. The company is privately held and self-financed. It has maintained its technological leadership through an ongoing commitment to R&D, investing approximately 20% of annual revenues back into research and development. MPB Communications Inc. is a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise and part of the WEConnect International’s Global eNetwork.

2021-09-01 from Teraxion:

indie Semiconductor to Acquire TeraXion

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. and QUEBEC City, Quebec – Aug. 31, 2021 – indie Semiconductor, Inc. (Nasdaq: INDI), an Autotech solutions innovator, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase TeraXion Inc., a market leader in the design and manufacture of innovative photonic components. This acquisition accelerates indie’s vision of becoming a semiconductor and software level solutions provider for multiple sensor modalities spanning advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles.

Since their founding in 2000, TeraXion has built a solid industry reputation based on innovative and highly reliable components, underpinned by more than 30 global patents. The Company produces low noise lasers, Bragg gratings and integrated photonic elements to address high-performance applications. More recently, TeraXion was an optical sensing reference design partner of indie, supporting next-generation Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) systems for automotive light detection and ranging (LiDAR).

“Given the critical role LiDAR plays in achieving maximum levels of safety for assisted and self-driving cars, we are excited to welcome TeraXion’s world class design team and integrate their differentiated IP and product portfolio,” said Donald McClymont, indie’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “Specifically, TeraXion has developed leadership laser technologies that, when optimized together with our SoC solutions, enable order of magnitude improvements in both system performance and cost. Accordingly, this highly synergistic combination built on a shared vision and strong cultural fit, positions indie to accelerate mass market deployments of LiDAR platforms.”

“TeraXion is thrilled to be joining forces with indie to take our business to the next level,” said Ghislain Lafrance, TeraXion’s president and chief executive officer. “By combining indie’s mixed-signal, DSP, software and power management experience with our laser and sensing technologies, together we intend to enable truly unparalleled solutions for ADAS and autonomous driving as well as adjacent high reliability applications.” Mr. Lafrance plans to join indie’s senior management team and continue to lead TeraXion’s operations in Quebec.

indie is at the forefront of disruptive semiconductor and software solutions for LiDAR, allowing its customers to create differentiated platforms that will help unleash next-generation driver-assistance systems and ultimately enable true autonomous driving. Via its holistic systems approach, indie is addressing the market need for comprehensive, cost-effective architectures that enhance the circle of safety and help fulfill the promise of the tomorrow’s vehicles today. According to a March 2021 MarketWatch report, the global automotive LiDAR segment is expected to grow at a 28 percent compound annual growth rate off a 2020 base, creating a $3.2 billion addressable market by 2027.

Based on indie’s closing stock price as of August 30, 2021, indie will pay approximately US$159 million for TeraXion, comprised of US$80 million in cash plus a fixed number of eight million indie Class A common shares. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both indie and TeraXion and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. Excluding any non-recurring acquisition-related charges and amortization of intangibles, indie expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive and will provide more financial details during its next earnings conference call.

About indie

indie is empowering the Autotech revolution with next-generation automotive semiconductors and software platforms. We focus on edge sensors for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems including LiDAR, connected car, user experience and electrification applications. These technologies represent the core underpinnings of both electric and autonomous vehicles, while the advanced user interfaces transform the in-cabin experience to mirror and seamlessly connect to the mobile platforms we rely on every day. We are an approved vendor to Tier 1 partners and our solutions can be found in marquee automotive OEMs around the world. Headquartered in Aliso Viejo, CA, indie has design centers and sales offices in Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Detroit, MI; San Francisco and San Jose, CA; Budapest, Hungary; Dresden, Germany; Edinburgh, Scotland and several locations throughout China.

Please visit us at to learn more.

About TeraXion

TeraXion is a leader in the design and manufacturing of innovative, high-end components incorporating low noise lasers, Bragg gratings and integrated photonics. Our unique expertise makes us a partner of choice for OEMs and system vendors addressing the ultrafast, high-power laser, optical communications, fiber optics and optical remote sensing markets.

For more information, please go to

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