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Cambridge, UK, and Boston, MA – June 17, 2008 – Polatis, a manufacturer of high performance and low loss optical switches, today announced the introduction of its ExpressLightTM wavelength selective switch (WSS) family of products, believed to be the industry's lowest loss WSS system. The ExpressLight WSS is integrated with optical channel monitoring and channel equalization functions in a small form factor 1RU shelf, and enables rapid time-to-deployment for operators and network equipment manufacturers in core and metro DWDM networks.

Polatis has worked closely with carriers in developing the ExpressLight WSS product, including undertaking a London Regional Network Study to quantify the impact of lower WSS loss.

"We have conducted studies for our operational networks that clearly demonstrate the advantages of low loss optical switching components," explained Andrew Lord, who leads BT's Optical Core R&D. "Ultimately, what is preventing us from rolling out many more WSS is the entire network cost. A WSS with half the loss of traditional technologies can save thousands of dB in optical amplification, avoiding unnecessary regenerations throughout our network, and hence reducing significantly those costs."

The ExpressLight WSS product has been developed as a core component of a carrier ROADM strategy, providing the ability to remotely reconfigure any or all wavelengths, and enable a cost-effective means of remote optical network management. The entire family of products offers up to 50% the loss of competing technologies, at less than 3 dB of express or drop loss. Operators can manage up to 42 wavelengths at 100 GHz channel spacing, provide colorless and hitless add/drops, and manage the network through the integrated channel monitoring and equalization capabilities of the shelf. The combined ultra-low loss, wide passband, and high OSNR ensure maximum ability to cascade network nodes.

"The Polatis WSS serves an unmet market need in the DWDM ROADM network today," stated David Lewis, Polatis Chief Executive Officer. "The dramatically lower loss solves the 'pinch points' in the network where low loss is critical, and enables new architectures for active add/drop, ring-to-ring and multi-degree transparency in the network.

"With our integrated shelf product, we deliver an immediate solution to those operators requiring the addition of remote wavelength management in a new or existing DWDM network."

The ExpressLight WSS shelf product, which leverages the Polatis proprietary piezoelectric beam-steering engine, is designed to allow easy integration into existing DWDM transport systems, or as a managed element in an operator network. The WSS is ideal for the following applications:

  • Dynamic wavelength switching and service provisioning
  • Ring-to-ring and multi-degree network connectivity
  • Scalable wavelength cross-connects
  • Network restoration
  • Adding remote reconfiguration to existing point-to-point fixed DWDM networks

Polatis is releasing its first ExpressLight WSS product in a compact 1RU passively cooled shelf, offered as a 1x9 configuration (one common line, 9 add or 9 drop paths). The core technology is scalable, and will allow for 1x5 through 1x20 configurations. Polatis has integrated real time optical channel monitoring and power equalization of the downstream wavelengths. Interfaces include SNMP, Telnet, and a Graphical Element Management Interface. All products will provide less than 3 dB express or add/drop loss, and are protocol & bit rate independent up to 40 Gb/s and beyond.

A live demonstration of the ExpressLight 1x9 WSS product will take place on the Polatis booth (#SL1306) at NXTcomm 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tuesday June 17 through Thursday June 19.

About Polatis

Since inception in 2000, Polatis has set the benchmark in ultra-low loss optical switching. The Polatis patented DirectLight® optical beam-steering technology is at the core of its family of highly reliable and compact photonic switching solutions. Polatis delivers a broad range of optical switching products with class-leading performance to customers in the communications, video, defense and instrumentation sectors. The company has headquarters located near Boston, Massachusetts and in Cambridge, UK. Polatis Inc. is supported through investments by 3i Group, Alta Berkeley, DFJ Esprit, EonTech Ventures, Flagship Ventures, Prism Venture Partners, JK&B Capital, Boston Millennia Partners, Harris and Harris Group, MTDC, and Gainesborough Investments.

To learn more please visit our website at: www.polatis.com

Notes to editors

  • NXTcomm is taking place at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For further information, visit http://www.nxtcommshow.com/
  • Polatis will be exhibiting at the NXTcomm exhibition, 17-19 June, at booth #SL1306
  • To arrange an interview with representatives of Polatis, please contact Howard Jones on howard@bcspr.co.uk or +44 (0)7980 772 285.

To learn more please visit our website at: www.polatis.com. Product images can be obtained from www.polatis.com/support/downloads.asp.

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US Contact:

Aaron A. Bent, PhD
VP, Marketing and Business Development
Polatis, Inc.
978-670-4910, x189

UK / Europe Contact:

Howard Jones and Natalie Saville
+44(0)115 948 6901