Congratulations Dr. Poole

Finisar would like to congratulate Dr. Simon Poole for being awarded the title of Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia. Dr. Poole was honored for his distinguished service to science in the field of photonics research and development, as an academic, and to the telecommunications industry.

The Order of Australia was established in February 1975 to recognize Australian citizens for achievement or meritorious service.

ECOC show participation

September again, and (to misquote Lord Alfred Tennyson) a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of – ECOC!

This year, ECOC will be in the beautiful University city of Gothenburg, home of the famous Feskekôrka or “Fish Church” (which is actually a fish market) as well as a lovely archipelago right on the city’s doorstep.  I’m looking forward to visiting Gothenburg for the first time and catching up with customers and colleagues as well as sampling some of the fresh seafood that forms the heart of the area’s cuisine.

Online Knowledgebase for WaveShaper and WaveAnalyzer

It’s now a year since the introduction of our updated WaveShaper Series A family of Optical Signal Processors at ECOC 2016 in Düsseldorf.   Improved optical specifications, together with the new web-based interface and RESTful API have confirmed the WaveShaper Family as key enablers for photonic research in a broad range of applications.  Whilst we continue to try and make operation of the WaveShaper (and the companion WaveAnalyzer instruments) as easy and intuitive as possible, from time-to-time questions still pop up.  Users can now check for answers in the newly established Online Knowledgebase at  A direct link to the knowledgebase is also provided in the “Help” menu in the WaveShaper and WaveAnalyzer software.

Information can be found by a simple search and includes code examples as well as ‘”How to” instructions. The content of the knowledgebase is growing quickly and additional topics are added frequently. In case you cannot find an answer to your specific question or problem, you can still contact the Finisar test instrument team at

ON2020 Optical Networking Initiative

Making predictions about the long-term evolution of optical networking is a difficult and dangerous pastime, as new technologies (eg coherent) and architectural developments (eg superchannels) are continually altering the direction and rate of evolution of the network.

The ON2020 Optical Networking Initiative is an effort which is, to quote the ON2020 website, working to define new optical network requirements and specifications, develop general network technology roadmaps and evolution scenarios, and foster an open and sustainable ecosystem for end users, service providers, and equipment and component vendors to collectively address the optical networking demands in the cloud era. ON2020 aims to provide long-term industry visions beyond current product developments that will help to set the longer-term goals and directions for the fiber-optic communications industry.

Finisar is a supporter of this initiative and as part of this process, ON2020 has been surveying the network needs and evolution strategies of leading network operators in Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America. The results of the survey will give indications, inter alia, on what aggregate capacities might be needed, bandwidths for individual links, the importance of superchannel transceivers and need for “white box” solutions, as well as the further development of ROADM networking.

The results of the ON2020 survey will be shared at a read-out session led by members of the ON2020 steering committee, during the ECOC 2017 conference in Gothenburg, immediately after the opening Plenary session on Monday. For more information, please visit the ON2020 website at

The future of VR/AR?

Whilst we think that Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) technology is the bees-knees for WSS, there are many other applications of LCoS, with one of the most interesting being the areas of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR). To see where this technology is heading, check out these papers from the researchers at Microsoft and Oculus on the future of 3D VR/AR.  Both are quite a way from being products, but provide some interesting pointers as to what we might expect at some time in the future.

Finisar Australia Recognized by the Institute of Engineers Australia NSW Branch

We are very pleased to announce that Finisar Australia was awarded the 2016 Control Systems, Networks, Information Processing and Telecommunications Excellence Award by the Institute of Engineers Australia NSW Branch. The award, which forms part of the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards was given for the development and commercialisation of the Coherent Optical Measurement System (COMS), which forms the core of our WaveAnalyzer and HR-OCM products.

The award was presented at a gala dinner, attended by over 500 people, at the Sheraton Darling Harbour in October. The photo below shows some the successful engineering team that developed the core technology, along with the trophy and certificate received.

As a winner of the NSW State award, the COMS technology is now in the running for a National award, the results of which will be announced at the Engineers Australia Annual Dinner in Brisbane at the end of November.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the COMS development on winning this award.


WaveShaper® Programmable Optical Processors pass another milestone: 1000th unit shipped

Finisar’s WaveShaper family of Programmable Optical Processors passed another milestone last month with the shipment of our 1000th unit. Since its introduction in 2009, the WaveShaper processor has become a ‘must have’ piece of optical test equipment for many labs around the world, with some customers having bought over 30 units each to use across a wide range of applications. We started with the WaveShaper “E” series which was available only as a 1×1 or 1×4 configuration for use in the C-band.

Over the past 7 years, we have continued to improve the performance of the WaveShaper processor and expanded the range of WaveShapers to over 25 different ‘flavours’ operating not just in the C-band but also in the L-band and also covering the combined C+L bands.

Finisar now produces a range of WaveShaper processors including WaveShaper 1000, WaveShaper 4000, WaveShaper 16000 and WaveShaper M-Series.

We have also added support for other wavelength ranges outside the main telecom wavelengths and now offer a single-polarisation version of the WaveShaper processor for use in short-pulse lasers at around 1µm. A companion single-polarisation pulse-shaper for 1.5µm fibre lasers is also available.

On the software front, the software to control the WaveShaper processor has come on in leaps and bounds. Various versions of the software can be seen below and these are now joined by additional functionality through the WaveSketch and Fourier Processor programs which now form part of the overall WaveManager software package.

Different versions of the WaveShaper processor control software including Original ”E” Series LabVIEW software from 2009, WaveShaper Control Software (c. 2010) and the current WaveManager Application Suite.

We’re tremendously proud of what we’ve achieved with the WaveShaper family of Programmable Optical Processors and the capabilities that they have provided to scientists and engineers around the world. We look forward to continuing to support all our existing customers, and many new ones, as we develop new capabilities and variants of the WaveShaper processor range over the coming years.

For more information on the WaveShaper family of Programmable Optical Processors visit our website product page.

FINISAR SHOW PREVIEW: Photonics West 2016

Off again next week to the annual Photonics West extravaganza at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. With over 20,000 attendees, 1,250 exhibiting companies, and 4,700 technical papers on everything from biophotonics, through industrial lasers to display technologies, Photonics West now dwarfs the other major optical communications conferences.

It was not always thus, and in the days of the Telecom Bubble of the late ‘90s, when too many exhibitors was barely enough, OFC was THE place to be if you could even spell “Photonics”. I was reminded of this recently when I unearthed the following cartoon, originally published on in 2000, which sums up the madness of the time quite nicely.
Returning to the present, Photonics West has the usual raft of academic papers in search of the holy grail of optical health monitoring – non-invasive glucose monitoring. There is a great backgrounder on just how much time and effort has been spent on the pursuit of this noble, but highly elusive, goal, in the e-book The pursuit of non-invasive glucose: “Hunting the deceitful turkey” by John Smith. If you have any interest in this area whatsoever, this book is highly recommended.

From the Finisar perspective, we’ll be showing how you can generate fully-controllable psec and fsec pulses or pulse trains using our WaveShaper 1000/SP for 1µm in conjunction with the psec fiber laser from Southern Photonics and an A·P·E Autocorrelator. To quote Prof John Harvey, CEO of Southern Photonics, “Finisar’s WaveShaper 1000/SP product provides a definitive solution for the growing requirements of ultra-fast pulse-shaping. The flexibility and scalability of this elegant technology add a new dimension to what is possible in ultra-fast lasers for machining and bio-medical applications.” Be sure to visit our booth 4242 at the show for a live demonstration.

Finisar subsidiary LightSmyth Technologies will be showing their breakthrough low cost diffractive optics and lens arrays, also at booth 4242. These allow for arbitrary beamshaping and wavefront transformation to produce lenses, vortex phase plates, axicons, beamsplitters, pattern generators, computer generated holograms and other optical components. Multiple optical functions may be combined on a single optical surface of a glass or fused silica substrate and no organic materials are used. The advantages are low cost, wafer scale mass volume production capability, high performance, high power damage threshold and environmental stability. For more details, read the press release.

All of these, plus our range of high-speed detectors and receivers with bandwidths up to 100 GHz, will be on display at our booth next week at Photonics West in San Francisco.

See you there!