Jing-Jong Pan - Milpitas CA
Jing-Yu Xu - San Jose CA
Charlene Jia-Ling Yang - Fremont CA
E-Tek Dynamics, Inc. - San Jose CA
The present invention provides improved optic switches in which the optic fibers and optical pathways need not move. Advantageously, the switches of the present invention generally rely on a combination of a moveable reflective element and at least one fixed collimating lens. The collimating lens typically expands the light signal from a single mode fiber to a substantially larger optic path. When the reflective element is disposed out of this large optic path, the light signals continue on to a first output fiber, often through another collimating lens. However, when the reflective element is disposed within the expanded optic path from the collimating lens, the signal is reflected back through that same collimating lens into an alternative output fiber which is parallel and in close proximity to the input fiber. Conveniently, the reflective element can move across the optic path without changing the position of the input or output fibers relative to each other. Surprisingly, a thin planar reflector which is aligned to reflect one of a pair of signals crossing between two collimating lenses can also reflect the other crossing signal, thereby providing highly efficient multiple signal switching.