Keysight Technologies Introduces Tunable Laser Source with Industry-Leading Tuning Repeatability


Tunable Laser Source Sets New Records in Accuracy, Test Efficiency for Spectral Loss Measurements

SANTA ROSA, Calif., March 17, 2015

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) today introduced the 81606A tunable laser source, a new module for the 8164B lightwave measurement system. With sub-picometer tuning repeatability and best-in-class wavelength accuracy, even in full-speed, two-way sweeps, the new module helps verify the design of demanding devices and reduce test cost per device. The tunable laser speeds up the automated adjustment of wavelength-selective devices and allows test engineers to validate more devices per hour than they can with currently available models.

Tunable lasers, in combination with optical power meters and a polarization controller, are used to measure the filter slope, isolation, polarization dependence, insertion loss and reflectivity of multiplexers/demultiplexers, channel interleavers and wavelength-selective switches used in reconfigurable optical fiber networks. The cascading of filter shapes from ROADMs (reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexers) along the path of today's fast modulation-broadened signals makes it critical for component manufacturers to comply with nearly ideal channel specifications, leaving little to no room for measurement uncertainty.

The 81606A tunable laser source addresses the needs of optical component makers for more efficient testing and better test margins with significantly enhanced functionality over the current 81600B laser, the industry standard for more than a decade. The tunable laser offers:

  • 15 dB more dynamic range through higher signal power with lower spontaneous emission, enabled by the new cavity and laser module design
  • 4-fold improvement in absolute accuracy with increased real-time tracking speed and resolution, enabled by the novel wavelength reference unit
  • 40 times faster sweeps without impacting the specified dynamic accuracy, enabled by enhanced feedback controls and drive mechanics

Combining these latest developments with nearly two decades of experience in sweeping tunable lasers, the 81606A is engineered for the highest reliability and long-term stability. Compatibility with the current 81600B laser commands and N7700A photonic application suite makes it easy for engineers to transition smoothly or expand to the new 81606A.

"When component developers validate their designs, they want to get maximum confidence from their measurements in virtually no time," said Dr. Joachim Peerlings, marketing manager of Keysight's Digital and Photonic Test Division. "We designed the 81606A tunable laser source with that goal in mind. An innovative, autonomous wavelength reference unit and a new cavity design, push current benchmarks for measurement accuracy, dynamic range and test time, while ensuring the highest long-term stability and enabling cost-efficient servicing."

The 81606A tunable laser source is available now in two versions, offering tuning ranges from 1450 nm to 1650 nm (Option 216) and from 1490 nm to 1640 nm (Option 116).

More information about the Keysight 81606A tunable laser source is available at Photos of the instrument are available at

Keysight will demonstrate latest optical test solutions, including the 81606A tunable laser source, at OFC 2015, Booth 1201, Los Angeles Convention Center, March 24-26.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The 81606A tunable laser source module is orderable now at a list price starting from $72,964. Shipments start in July. The module is compatible with the 8164B lightwave measurement system mainframe.
About Keysight Technologies

Keysight Technologies (NYSE:KEYS) is a global electronic measurement technology and market leader helping to transform its customers' measurement experience through innovations in wireless, modular, and software solutions. Keysight's electronic measurement instruments, systems, software and services are used in the design, development, manufacture, installation, deployment and operation of electronic equipment. The business had revenues of $2.9 billion in fiscal year 2014. Information about Keysight is available at

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Janet Smith, Americas
+1 970 679 5397
Twitter: @KeysightJSmith

Sarah Calnan, Europe
+44 (118) 927 5101

Connie Wong, Asia
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