Echola Systems LLC specializes in design and manufacture of custom Layer1 optical switches since 2006. Our products bring cost effective solutions to users in the instrumentation and test market; specifically addresses the custom needs of users in industries such as telecommunications carriers and equipment manufacturers, academic & research institutions and more. Typical applications include optical device sharing in test labs, optical patch panel automation and optical layer fault simulation. Our customers include Cisco, Tellabs, Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, and more.
Fault Simulation: Fiber-cut switch
Fiber-cut optical switches are used for simulating fiber-cuts and automating fiber-cut scenarios in manufacturing QA or engineering test labs. The automation of fiber-cut failures saves lot of regression effort and time involved in testing software/hardware components which detect these failures and act upon. The traditional O-E-O (Optical-Electrical-Optical conversion) switches can not be used to simulate real physical layer fiber-cut fault, but Echola Systems Fiber-cut switches uses electro-mechanical shutters to stop light flow. The switching speed is less than 10ms.
Since these are Layer 1 switches you can use with any protocols (Fibre Channel, Ethernet, SONET etc.) and speed (1G,4G,10G,40G,100G etc.), as opposed to O-E-O (optical electrical conversion - 2R/3R) devices which need expensive transceivers for each port/speed/protocol. Typical application involves SONET/SDH/ATM/DWDM/Ethernet/Fibre Channel switches which uses optical uplinks with Automatic Protection Switching (APS) or similar protection and restoration features.
Fiber-cut switch allows users to configure, control and monitor the device from remote using any standard internet browser, a command line interface via telnet or SSH. The notification is supported through Syslog. These switches can be automated using TCL based application programming interface from any user applications. Secured access through VPN is also possible. The fiber-cut switch comes with Single Mode and Multimode options. The number of ports are configurable but standard models are FC411 (4 port simplex fiber-cut switch), FC811 (8 port simplex fiber-cut switch) , FC1611 (16 port simplex fiber-cut switch), VFC811 (8 port simplex slow fiber-cut switch) and VFC1611 (16 port simplex slow fiber-cut switch).
Fiber-cut switch FC811 is a low cost 8 port (1x1), no latency, L1 optical switch for simulating fiber-cuts; automating fiber-cut scenarios in manufacturing QA or engineering test labs. You can either use 8 single fibers or 4 duplex fibers (Tx/Rx combo) to simulate fiber cut scenarios. The automation of fiber-cut failures saves lot of regression effort and time involved in testing software/hardware components which detect these failures and act upon. Typical application involves SONET/SDH/ATM/DWDM/Ethernet/Fibre Channel switches which uses optical uplinks with Automatic Protection Switching (APS) or similar protection and restoration features.
|Insertion Loss (excluding connectors)
|≤ 1.0 dB
|Wavelength Dependent Loss (WDL)
|≤ 0.15 dB
|Polarization Dependent Loss (PDL)
|≤ 0.1 dB
|> 55 dB
|> 60 dB
|≤ 10 ms
|± 0.02 dB
|Operating Temperature range
|-5 ~ 70 °C for SM ~-20 ~75 °C for MM
|5 ~ 85 % RH
|> 10 Million Cycles
|1U rackmountable, 13 inch deep
|100-240V AC, 50/60Hz
|8x Duplex SC/LC connectors
|1x 10/100 Mbps RJ45 Ethernet
|1x RS232 DB9 Male connector
The original FC Series fiber-cut switch such as FC811 is based on 1x1 optical switch. So when it is used for fiber-cut simulation applications it creates a clean cut. But in real life scenarios the fiber cable cut is not always clean. In other words, the fiber is stretched before it’s torn, so power of the optical signal degrades gradually before the signal is lost completely.
VFC series fiber-cut switches (VFC811, VFC1611) are based on VOAs (variable optical attenuators). It allows you to configure the delay for the cut so that you can simulate real world fiber cut scenarios. The following graph shows difference between clean and delayed cut in terms of optical power vs time.
The software is same for both FC & VFC except that the VFC series have a option for fiber cut delay. The VFC switch uses same enclosure as FC so you won’t be able to differentiate from outside.
VFC series switch allows users to configure, control and monitor the device from remote using any standard internet browser, a command line interface via telnet or SSH. The notification is supported through Syslog. These switches can be automated using TCL based application programming interface from any user applications. Secured access through VPN is also possible. The VFC series fiber-cut switch comes with Single Mode and Multimode options.
Device sharing: 1xN or n(1xN) switch
|OS214 - 1x4 duplex switch
|OS414 - 4(1x4) duplex switch
|OS3012 - 100(1x2) switch
1xN or n(1xN) switches are used by development/test engineers or test lab automation systems to time share one expensive optical device with many other optical devices. It can save thousands of dollars in capital equipment spending by allowing effective use of under-utilized expensive optical equipment. Typical application involves sharing an expensive 10GE BERT or a protocol analyzers with 10GE Ethernet uplinks in production automation and test environments; Another application involves sharing an expensive Fibre Channel switch with other Fibre Channel devices in test and development testbeds.
The popular switch models in this category include OS214 (1x4 duplex or 2x8), OS218 (1x8 duplex which 2x16), OS414 (4(1x4) duplex which is 4(2x8)) and OS3012 100(1x2) duplex which is 100(2x4).
Echola 1xN switches are Layer 1 optical switches that provides transparent connectivity, So you don't need expensive transceivers (for eg. 10GE SFP) for connecting to other optical devices. It can be used with any protocols (Fibre Channel, Ethernet, SONET etc.) and speed (1G,4G,10G,40G etc.), as opposed to O-E-O (optical electrical conversion - 2R/3R) devices which need expensive transceivers for each port. The transparent optical layer connectivity allows unit under test to be tested without introducing any latency.
1xN optical switches have one input and multiple outputs. The input light can be switched from input to any one of the output at any given time. The switching takes place in less than 5 ms. n(1xN) optical switches have multiple(n) such 1xN switches in single enclosure controlled by one network management module.
The traditional 1xN switches available in the market today are not directly manageable through network, users need to have dedicated computer and software driver to connect to their GPIB or RS232 management interface which not only increases total cost of ownership but also restricts access to single user. GPIB and RS232 pose severe issues to use in today's complex regression tests and test automation environments where multiple users or applications need to share the same resource. Moreover the duplex functionality doesn't normally come in the standard configuration, either you have to custom order or connect two such 1xN devices in parallel and go through cumbersome configuration and management.
Another problem with traditional 1xN optical switch is that they can’t be cascaded. This limits the scalability of such device to its physical size and electrical characteristics apart from its optical characteristics like insertion loss. You could end up spending more on new equipment to replace the old one when your business expands. For instance the OS214 allows users to configure many OS214 devices in series, only limited by the optical devices transmit power and OS214s total insertion loss, to share many more optical devices. The following diagram shows how two OS214 switches can be connected to get one duplex 1x7 virtual switch.
Echola's Optical Patch Panel Automation switch allows test engineers/system developers to dynamically reconfigure testbed connections from remote. It reduces test configuration time as they don't need to make any physical fiber connections for each set of tests, so more testing can be performed with fewer resources. It provides all-optical connectivity with zero latency and can be used with any protocols and speed. Unlike O-E-O (optical to electrical to optical conversion) switches you don't need expensive transceivers for each port. The all-optical connectivity also allows systems under test to be tested without introducing another variable (ie, another conversion layer which could introduce significant latency). The patch panel automation switch allows users to configure, control and monitor the device from remote using any standard internet browser, a command line interface (CLI) via Telnet or SSH and SNMP v2c. The event notifications are supported through Syslog. It can be automated using TCL based scripts.
Echola Systems offers two different solutions for Patch Panel Automation.
|1. OMS series MxN matrix switch
The OMS series switch is a non blocking matrix switch that allows light to be switched from any input port to any output port. We offer up to 250 x 250 ports in either single-mode or multi-mode version. The power consumption of fully loaded unit is less than 10 Watts! The figure on right side illustrates how a 4x4 matrix switch works. The 4x4 matrix is essentially eight 1x4 switches connected as shown. You can click on the figure to enlarge it. It shows simple config where the switch is programmed to connect input port 1 to output port 1, input port 2 to output port 3, input port 3 to output port 2 and input port 4 to output port 4. But it can be programmed to switch light to any input port to any output port through GUI or CLI command. The switching time is about 1 second. Echola's OMS series offers six different standard configurations.
|# Port Pairs(Tx/Rx)
|48x48 = 96
|2. OS series n(1xN) custom switch
1xN optical switches have one input and multiple (N) outputs. The input light can be switched to any one of the output at any given time. The switching speed is less than 5ms. The n(1xN) optical switches have multiple(n) such 1xN switches in single enclosure controlled by one network management module. There are couple of the popular models in n(1xN) category: OS414supports 4(1x4) duplex optical switches in single enclosure and OS3012 supports 100(1x2) duplex optical switches in single enclosure. For other custom port configurations and price, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
|OS3012 Electrical Specifications
|Total Power Consumption
|1x 10/100 Ethernet
|300 Duplex Multimode LC ports
|No limitation - Physical Layer Switch
|2x4 Electro-mechanical-optical switch
|Insertion Loss (dB)
|0.5 Typical, 0.8 Max.
|Switching Time (ms)
|Mechanical & Environmental
|> 10 7
|19 (W) x 14 (D) x 17.5 (H)
|Operating Temperature range (C)
|-20 ~ 75
|Storage Temperature range (C)
|-40 ~ 70
5 ~ 85 % RH