UltraVOA™ SFP Module
Mellanox's UltraVOA SFP Module is a single channel Variable Optical Attenuator (VOA) in a standard pluggable SFP MSA package. It uses silicon photonics to deliver reliable solid-state current controlled optical attenuation enabling ultra-fast control of signal levels in optical networks. The VOA consists of a reliable silicon p-i-n diode structure built across a silicon optical waveguide. As current is applied through the diodes, the free carriers in the waveguide absorb photons, creating a current-controlled variable attenuation.
Because the physical effect is based on electronic control, the response time of the VOA is fast— less than 1 µs in typical situations. The module includes an integrated 5% tap and photodetector for monitoring the optical output signal and an internal EEPROM memory with stored factory calibration data. This data can be communicated via the I2C communications protocol through the SFP connector. This VOA is well suited to the most demanding applications in metro and long-haul transmission applications. The high speed of these VOAs makes them particularly useful for optical transient suppression and analog signal modulation applications.