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SCHOTT solutions no. 2/2014 > Data Transmission

TO PLUS® Packages
A tiny, super-fast component with a transmission rate of 28 Gbit: TO PLUS® packages, comprised of headers and caps, from SCHOTT are partly responsible for ensuring that the proper data transmission rate is reached. Photo: SCHOTT/ H.-J. Schulz

A speck in the fast lane

A tiny component makes an important contribution to enabling the next leap: the latest generation of TO PLUS® packages from SCHOTT allows for a data transfer rate to the hub of the network that is twice as fast. 28 billion information bits can then be transmitted – per second.

Doris Jetter

In 1964, when SCHOTT first started manufacturing standard housings for transistors in early electronic devices, the foundation for the Internet was just being laid in the United States with the concept of packet-oriented data transmission. Today, Cisco estimates that approximately 12 billion computers, televisions and mobile terminals are connected through the global network. And their number is growing ten times faster than the world population. At the same time, more and more applications are being carried out online: from cloud computing to social networking and video streaming. Whether at work, at home in the living room or while traveling, the Internet is omnipresent. Therefore, companies and huge server farms, called Storage Area Networks (SANs) that store and provide access to data around the clock, depend on fast and reliable Internet connections. TO PLUS® packages from SCHOTT contribute to these. They protect the sensitive optoelectronic components such as laser and photo diodes in the transceiver, the transmitter/receiver interfaces between the local electrical and the fast optical network, from dirt and corrosion due to humidity. Now an improved package design allows for a transmission rate of up to 28 gigabits per second. Robert Hettler, Head of the Research and Development Department of Optoelectronic Packaging at SCHOTT in Landshut, Germany, summarizes the advantages that the new housing offers: ”The world’s hunger for data is unlimited and requires faster transmission rates. What is so unique about our solution is that the next boost in speed is achieved using an optimized standard package with which the industry can upgrade its products quite easily. We are the first and currently only supplier in the market for this high-speed solution.”
Data streaming keeps everyone up-to-date. Left: The hunger for data is insatiable. Huge server farms ensure that data is available in real time. Photo: Thinkstock
A TO PLUS® package consists of a header and a cap. The pins in the header supply power and transmit the electrical signal. The cap is equipped with a window or lens to allow optical signals to be sent or received via hermetically encapsulated laser and photo diodes. The package is less than 6 mm in diameter to ensure that it meets all of the geometrical standards of the various transceiver models. The leap in development from the 14 G to the 28 G package was achieved by geometrically optimizing the glass-sealed power feedthroughs into the housing. A higher transmission rate can then be achieved.

Higher pulse rate on the data highway

Hermetic housings for transistors protect optoelectronic components in data networks from impurities and corrosion caused by humidity. Photo: SCHOTT/R. Meier
This is also necessary because the pipeline of new networked applications is growing by leaps and bounds. An increasing amount of data and programs are being shared, people are buying online, making phone calls and playing sophisticated games over the Internet or streaming the latest movies in HD quality. At the same time, developments in the area of telemedicine are moving faster, and cars will soon be steering themselves through traffic. ”Industry 4.0” is also making automated manufacturing and logistics much easier. To ensure that the ’Internet of Things’ doesn’t get stuck in the data traffic jam, the transmission frequency needs to speed up quickly.

”Many of the applications in data centers and in what is often called the last mile to the customer (fiber to the home) would be completely unthinkable without our hermetic packages,” adds Peter Kniprath, Head of the Optoelectronics Division of SCHOTT Electronic Packaging. ”With the TO PLUS® 28 G standard housing, we are now offering telecommunications companies a cost-effective solution that can be used in many different ways for the rapid further development of the high-speed Internet,” he adds. <
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