Patents by Inventor Brent E. Little

Brent E. Little has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 8818194
    Abstract: A tunable optical demultiplexer includes a control circuit and one or more heaters thermally coupled to waveguides of an optical demux. The control circuit is in signal communication with the one or more heaters and includes a processor coupled to a memory. The control circuit is configured to receive an optical channel group (OCG) identification signal and adjust the power delivered to the heaters in response to the OCG identification signal and based on parameter values stored in the memory. The optical demux outputs a plurality of optical signals at a corresponding one of a plurality of outputs. The transmission characteristics of the optical demux are varied depending on the amount of power delivered to the heaters. The varying of the transmission characteristics of the optical demux adjusts the spectral shifting of the plurality of wavelengths output by the optical demux.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventors: Brent E. Little, Wei Chen
  • Patent number: 8634684
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system, apparatus and method to maintain the polarization state of an optical signal propagating within a photonic integrated circuit, or from a first photonic integrated circuit to a second photonic integrated circuit. According to various embodiments of the invention, an optical circuit is provided which includes a waveguide having one or more bends or curved portions. The bends or curved portions of the waveguide are configured to maintain the polarization orientation of the optical signal as the optical signal propagates through the waveguide, such that the polarization orientation at inputs or outputs, or at various points along the waveguide is known. Embodiments of the present invention mitigate polarization crosstalk, which in turn provides for improved processing efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventors: Brent E. Little, Peter W. Evans
  • Patent number: 8634679
    Abstract: Consistent with the present disclosure an optical filter is provided that preferably includes a plurality of looped or ring-shaped waveguides provided on a substrate which are coupled to one another by tunable couplers. Portions of each waveguide constitute part of each tunable coupler, which may include, for example, a Mach-Zehnder interferometer. A heater may be thermally coupled to one or both arms of the Mach-Zehnder interferometer, to thereby adjust an amount of optical coupling between adjacent looped waveguides. The filter bandwidth (i.e., the spectral width of the passband), which, as noted above, is related to such coupling, can thus also be tuned or varied. Additional heaters may be provided to tune the center wavelength of the passband so that a filter having both a variable passband spectral width and center wavelength can be obtained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventor: Brent E. Little
  • Patent number: 8488922
    Abstract: A multi-channel dispersion compensator comprising an optical signal waveguide that forms an input end for receiving an optical signal and an output end for providing a filtered optical signal. The multi-channel dispersion compensator also includes a series of closed-loop resonators providing frequency delay to at least one channel of the optical signal. The optical signal waveguide and each closed-loop resonator form a tunable coupler having a coupling value. The coupling value for each tunable coupler is selected to minimize constant dispersion and linear slope dispersion of the optical signal. Methods of fabrication and use are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2013
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventors: Brent E. Little, Wei Chen
  • Patent number: 8478083
    Abstract: Consistent with the present disclosure, a rotator is provided that includes multiple stages, each of which including waveplate and delay sections. The waveplate and delay sections each exhibit birefringence and have polarization eigen states that are tilted with respect to each other. The lengths of the delay and waveplate sections are selected such that, for example, a relatively high extinction ratio can be achieved over a relatively wide range of fabrication perturbations to the waveplates or delay sections and over a relatively wide range of wavelengths. Accordingly, the rotator consistent with the present disclosure is more tolerant of deviations in the optical signal polarization.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventor: Brent E. Little
  • Patent number: 8452185
    Abstract: The present invention, in one embodiment contemplates a polarization insensitive optical circuit constructed of an input/output signal separator, such as an optical circulator or a 1×2 or 2×2 coupler or N×M coupler, a polarization sensitive operator, and a polarization rotator reflector. In an alternate embodiment, the invention contemplates a polarization insensitive optical circuit comprising a polarization rotator reflector, and a polarization sensitive operator which may comprise for example a first polarization rotator, an operator/coupler, and a polarization beam combiner. Preferably at least one of the components in the optical circuit is constructed integrally from the substrate upon which the optical circuit is based. For example the polarization rotator and/or polarization sensitive operator of the present invention may be monolithic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventors: Brent E. Little, Sai T. Chu
  • Patent number: 8314988
    Abstract: One embodiment contemplates a polarization insensitive optical circuit constructed of an input/output signal separator, such as an optical circulator or a 1×2 or 2×2 coupler or N×M coupler, a polarization sensitive operator, and a polarization rotator reflector. In an alternate embodiment, the invention contemplates a polarization insensitive optical circuit including a polarization rotator reflector, and a polarization sensitive operator which may include, for example, a first polarization rotator, an operator/coupler, and a polarization beam combiner. Preferably, at least one of the components in the optical circuit is constructed integrally from the substrate upon which the optical circuit is based. For examples the polarization rotator and/or polarization sensitive operator may be monolithic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventors: Brent E. Little, Sai T. Chu
  • Patent number: 8295661
    Abstract: An optical system is disclosed. The optical system includes first and second waveguides, a first dispersive element, and a coupler. The first waveguide is configured to support a first mode and a second mode of an optical input signal. The second mode being of a higher order than the first mode. The second waveguide has an input and an output and is configured to receive a portion of the optical input signal. The first dispersive element is disposed along a length of one of the first or second waveguides. The first dispersive element including a waveguide segment configured to induce a frequency-dependent phase shift in one of the portions of the optical input signal. The coupler is configured to couple the portion of the optical input signal in the second waveguide and the portion optical input signal in the first waveguide into the first waveguide. The coupling excites the second mode of the first waveguide to create a multimode optical signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2012
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventor: Brent E. Little
  • Patent number: 8238697
    Abstract: A polarization beam splitter-polarization rotator-polarization beam combiner optical structure comprising a pair of polarization rotators having a polarization beam splitter associated with the input ends of the two polarization rotators, and a polarization beam combiner associated with output ends of the two polarization rotators, and a method of purifying a light signal comprising TE and TM modes by disassociating the primary TE and TM modes from first order splitter and rotation error components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventors: Brent E. Little, Wei Chen
  • Patent number: 8224139
    Abstract: Consistent with the present disclosure a compact, integrated tunable filter is provided that can adjust the power levels of optical signals output from an optical amplifier, for example, so that the amplifier has a uniform spectral gain. The tunable optical filter includes a planar lightwave circuit (PLC) having cascaded Mach-Zehnder interferometers, each of which having corresponding differential optical delays. At least one of the differential optical delays is different than the rest. Alternatively, the differential optical delays are different from one another. Each of the Mach-Zehnder interferometers is connected to one another by a tunable optical coupler. Such a filter has an improved frequency response in that the number of shapes that the transmission spectrum may have is increased. Accordingly, the optical filter may be more finely tuned to more effectively flatten, for example, the output of the optical amplifier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventors: Brent E. Little, Wei Chen
  • Patent number: 8213802
    Abstract: An optical receiver includes a first substrate including a demultiplexer and a first optical waveguide array. An input of the demultiplexer is configured to receive a wavelength division multiplexed optical input signal having a plurality of channels. Each of the plurality of channels corresponds to one of a plurality of wavelengths. Each of the plurality of outputs is configured to supply a corresponding one of the plurality of channels. The first optical waveguide array has a plurality of inputs. Each of the inputs of the first optical waveguide array is configured to receive a corresponding one of the plurality of channels. A second substrate is in signal communication with the first substrate and includes an optical detector array. The optical detector array has a plurality of inputs, each of which is configured to receive a corresponding one of the plurality of channels and generate an electrical signal in response thereto.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventors: Brent E. Little, Wei Chen, John V. Hryniewicz, Sai T. Chu, Jeff Rahn, Mehrdad Ziari, Timothy Butrie, Michael Reffle, Fred A. Kish, Jr., Charles H. Joyner
  • Patent number: 8213799
    Abstract: A planar lightwave circuit (PLC) includes a substrate, a tunable filter, a demultiplexer (DEMUX), and an optical processor each disposed on the substrate. The tunable filter is configured to filter at least one of a bandwidth or a wavelength of a Wavelength Division Multiplexed (WDM) optical input signal. The DEMUX is connected to the tunable filter and configured to receive a filtered WDM optical input signal at an input and to supply one of a plurality of channels of the filtered WDM input signal at a respective one of a plurality of outputs. Each of the plurality of channels corresponds to one of a plurality of wavelengths of the filtered WDM input signal. The optical processor includes a bit-delay interferometer communicating with a respective one of the plurality of outputs of the DEMUX. The optical processor is configured to receive one of the plurality of channels from the DEMUX and output a plurality of demodulated optical signal components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventors: Brent E. Little, Wei Chen, John V. Hryniewicz, Sai T. Chu, Jeff Rahn, Mehrdad Ziari
  • Patent number: 8189972
    Abstract: An optical coupler includes a first waveguide configured to supply a first optical signal having a wavelength and a second waveguide. The first optical signal having a first mode. The first waveguide has a tapered portion being spaced from the second waveguide by a distance sufficient to facilitate evanescent coupling of the first optical signal from the first waveguide to the second waveguide. A first effective refractive index of the first waveguide at a location in the tapered portion being equal to a second effective refractive index at a location in the second waveguide. The first effective refractive index being associated with the first mode and the second effective refractive index being associated with a second mode of a second optical signal having the wavelength. The second mode having a different order than the first mode, and the second waveguide being configured to supply the second optical signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventor: Brent E. Little
  • Patent number: 8116602
    Abstract: The present invention includes a device and a method for fabricating a device that is an optical power mode transformer that accepts light in a mode transformation direction where the transformer is attached to or embedded in a semiconductor microchip and includes a first single or multimode optical input (SM) waveguide including a first core surrounded by a cladding, and, a second high contrast index grade (HC) waveguide including a second core having a tapered region and surrounded by said cladding, a portion of the tapered region of the core being embedded within the first optical input waveguide region with an embedded length sufficient for efficient light transfer from the first input waveguide to the said second waveguide wherein the embedded portion of the tapered region is fully surrounded by the first input waveguide along an axial and radial cross-section of the second waveguide in the mode transformation direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2012
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventors: Brent E. Little, Saitak Chu
  • Publication number: 20120002920
    Abstract: The present invention provides a system, apparatus and method to maintain the polarization state of an optical signal propagating within a photonic integrated circuit, or from a first photonic integrated circuit to a second photonic integrated circuit. According to various embodiments of the invention, an optical circuit is provided which includes a waveguide having one or more bends or curved portions. The bends or curved portions of the waveguide are configured to maintain the polarization orientation of the optical signal as the optical signal propagates through the waveguide, such that the polarization orientation at inputs or outputs, or at various points along the waveguide is known. Embodiments of the present invention mitigate polarization crosstalk, which in turn provides for improved processing efficiency.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2010
    Publication date: January 5, 2012
    Inventors: Brent E. Little, Peter W. Evans
  • Publication number: 20110158579
    Abstract: Consistent with the present disclosure, a rotator is provided that includes multiple stages, each of which including waveplate and delay sections. The waveplate and delay sections each exhibit birefringence and have polarization eigen states that are tilted with respect to each other. The lengths of the delay and waveplate sections are selected such that, for example, a relatively high extinction ratio can be achieved over a relatively wide range of fabrication perturbations to the waveplates or delay sections and over a relatively wide range of wavelengths. Accordingly, the rotator consistent with the present disclosure is more tolerant of deviations in the optical signal polarization.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 24, 2009
    Publication date: June 30, 2011
    Inventor: Brent E. Little
  • Patent number: 7961994
    Abstract: An optical device includes a first waveguide having an end portion configured to receive an optical signal, the optical signal having a fundamental mode; a second waveguide having an end portion spaced from the end portion of the first waveguide; and a cladding layer surrounding the first and second waveguides. The first waveguide is configured such that the optical signal undergoes multimode interference to focus the fundamental mode at the end portion of the second waveguide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2011
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventors: Wei Chen, Brent E. Little
  • Patent number: 7899280
    Abstract: A geometrically shaped optical waveguide crossing with minimal transmission loss is described. A symmetrically tapered waveguide intersection is used to minimize loss in the intersecting region where at least two optical waveguides cross one another. The present invention embodies a waveguide crossing that includes tapering the width of the waveguides as they approach the intersecting region, forcing the field of light to contract, reducing asymmetric field distortions, and thus reducing transmission loss and effectively minimizing crosstalk. This is accomplished by focusing light through a perpendicular or near perpendicular intersection by simple linear tapering rather than by the use of a lens or other previously used devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2011
    Assignee: Infinera Corporation
    Inventor: Brent E. Little
  • Publication number: 20100329679
    Abstract: A tunable optical demultiplexer includes a control circuit and one or more heaters thermally coupled to waveguides of an optical demux. The control circuit is in signal communication with the one or more heaters and includes a processor coupled to a memory. The control circuit is configured to receive an optical channel group (OCG) identification signal and adjust the power delivered to the heaters in response to the OCG identification signal and based on parameter values stored in the memory. The optical demux outputs a plurality of optical signals at a corresponding one of a plurality of outputs. The transmission characteristics of the optical demux are varied depending on the amount of power delivered to the heaters. The varying of the transmission characteristics of the optical demux adjusts the spectral shifting of the plurality of wavelengths output by the optical demux.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2009
    Publication date: December 30, 2010
    Inventors: BRENT E. LITTLE, Wei Chen
  • Publication number: 20100302637
    Abstract: The present invention, in one embodiment contemplates a polarization insensitive optical circuit constructed of an input/output signal separator, such as an optical circulator or a 1×2 or 2×2 coupler or N×M coupler, a polarization sensitive operator, and a polarization rotator reflector. In an alternate embodiment, the invention contemplates a polarization insensitive optical circuit comprising a polarization rotator reflector, and a polarization sensitive operator which may comprise for example a first polarization rotator, an operator/coupler, and a polarization beam combiner. Preferably at least one of the components in the optical circuit is constructed integrally from the substrate upon which the optical circuit is based. For example the polarization rotator and/or polarization sensitive operator of the present invention may be monolithic.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2007
    Publication date: December 2, 2010
    Inventors: Brent E. Little, Sai T. Chu