Tunable filter is a type of electric filter that is generally used for wavelength regulation and bandwidth adjustment for a wide-range of applications, These filters are known to provide numerous advantages to any optical system that require wavelength selection and tuning, and are expected to witness increasing demand for both wireless and satellite applications. Moreover, tunable filters are better than the fixed filters, as they facilitate seamless width control and placement of the band-pass on wireless transmitters and receivers. Different types of tunable filters are available that are best-suited to requirements of a wide range of applications. Liquid crystal tunable filters (LCTFs) are mostly used in machine vision systems on account of their ability to provide improved imaging of specular objects, while acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTFs) are designed for microscopy which can rapidly and dynamically select a particular wavelength from a multi-source laser.
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Tunable Filter Market – Notable Developments
- In April 2019, Brimrose Corporation, a leading player in the tunable filter market, was selected to provide a new spectrometer for NASA’s Luna Payload Development Program. The Brimsrose spectrometer uses the company’s core Acousto-Optic Tunable Filter (AOTF) technology that allows to produce acoustic waves within TeO2 crystal, following the application of an RF signal.
- In February 2019, Santec Corporation introduced the world’s smallest Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) tunable filter for 400G+ digital coherent transceivers, which enables reduction of optically amplified noise and enhances transmission quality. According to the company, these types of transceivers are rapidly expanding into the data center interconnect (DCI) technology space and will be integrated for mobile 5G and IoT communication in the future.
- In February 2019, Analog Devices, Inc., unveiled a new hardware or software platform called ‘SHARC® Audio Module (ADZS-SC589-MINI)’ that enables efficient prototyping, developing, and production of a wide array of digital audio products.
- In October 2018, AA Opto Electronic introduced a new 200 watts fixed frequency source 27.12, 40.68, 80MHz that allows analog and digital amplitude modulation at high speed. These drivers are based on quartz oscillators and produce a fixed, stable, and accurate RF frequency signal.
- In September 2018, Gooch & Housego (G&H) announced its acquisitionof Gould Fiber Optics, a US-based company that specializes in fiber optic components and sub systems. With the new acquisition, G&H aims to strengthen its position in the fused fiber optic technology landscape and provide improved access to the US defense and aerospace customers.
Other leading players in the tunable filter market include DiCon Fiberoptics, Inc., Kent Optronics, Inc., Yenista Optics, Photonics, Smiths Interconnect, Coleman Microwave Company, Micron Optics, Semrock, Thorlabs, Inc., Pole/Zero Corporation, Netcom Inc., EXFO, and Dover Corporation.
Tunable Filter Market Dynamics
Growing Application of Tunable Filter in Microscopes Drives Sales
Tunable filter has been growing in demand for machine vision applications, as it allows passing of narrow bandwidth of light while blocking unwanted light with optimal performance at wide viewing angles. Rapid advancements in scientific imaging has also influenced the integration of tunable filters in commercially used microscopes, including Raman, fluorescence, and absorption types. This, in turn, has expedites production of high-resolution images, which was previously held back by wavelength-filtering limitations. Rise in the demand for these microscopes along with advances in the field of science and technology is likely to translate into considerably new opportunities for growth of tunable filter market.
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Rising Demand for Wavelength Management Devices Promotes Tunable Filter Market Growth
A surge in demand for tunable filters is attributable to wide deployment of multicast switches or reconfigurable ADD/DROP wavelength management devices in metro cities and long-distance telecommunication networks across the globe. Addition of tunable filter arrays to these devices enable lowering of costs associated with ports imperative for network development.
In order to meet the stringent requirements of RF receiving applications, tunable filters produce a large number of tuning elements, which, in turn, creates hindrances vis-à-vis conversion of an incoming frequency into a usable one. This factor is likely to pose potential threat to the growth of tunable filters market during the forecast period. In addition, owing to size limitation, design complexity, and inherent difficulty with tuning sequential, reducing the tuning elements to improve the quality of filters still remains a challenges for the manufacturers of tunable filters.
Tunable Filter Market Segmentation
Based on type, the tunable filter market can be segmented into:
- Liquid Crystal Tunable Filters (LCTFs)
- Linear-Variable Tunable Filters (LVTFs)
- Acousto-Optic Tunable Filters (AOTFs)
Based on system type, the tunable filter market can be segmented into:
- Radar Systems
- RF Amplifiers
- Military Handheld Radios
- Testing and Measurement Systems
- Software-Defined Radios
- Surveillance Systems
- Avionics Communications Systems
Based on application, the tunable filter market can be segmented into:
- Satellite Communications (SATCOM)
- Optical Signal Noise Suppression
- Optical Channel Performance Monitoring
- Missile Tracking
- Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR)
- Wavelength Switching
- Hyperspectral Imaging
- Signal Equalization
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