Crossfiber Optical Switching IC  
Written by AnubisTTP on 2019-11-29  

 

Description

Here is a device that, while not particularly vintage, is rather unusual; a Crossfiber optical switching chip. A crossfiber chip is a relatively new invention that is used for optical computing and routing. The IC has an array of pinhead mirrors mounted on 2 axis pivots, which can be moved electrically to bounce optical beams in different directions. In normal use, the IC would be mounted in a frame facing a fiber optic array; the mirrors could then be used to direct signals between adjacent fibers. This example contains a 16x16 array composed of 256 mirrors each about a millimeter in diameter; in effect forming a flip dot display intended to be gazed upon by a fiber optic bundle instead of human eyes. The unit shown here is a used laboratory sample and has no manufacturer markings, but we believe it was produced sometime around 2009.

Unfortunately, crossfiber IC's have yet to see widespread availability in the homebrew electronics community. Datasheets and example circuits are not readily available, and the home electronics experimenter is likely to find building a project around one of the these chips a challenging experience.

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Crossfiber Optical Switching IC
Crossfiber optical switching integrated circuit.

Crossfiber Optical Switching IC
Crossfiber optical switching integrated circuit.

Crossfiber Optical Switching IC
Crossfiber optical switching integrated circuit.

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