Empower RF Systems announced a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) awarded patent entitled, “Power Amplifier System with an Internal Optical Communication Link.”

The patent is awarded for “techniques for implementing an internal optical communication link in a power amplifier system that includes a panel, an optical link, and a controller. The controller is configured to manage operation of the power amplifier system and is coupled to the optical link via a second optical interface. The controller communicates with each of the plurality of signal endpoints over the optical link.”

This patent is an important departure from (and improvement over) the industry’s current, but decades old, wired analog interfaces with a system architecture that utilizes high speed fiber optic digital communications for sensing and control. “If you look at traditional amplifier systems, you’re going to find multiple large wiring harnesses containing 30 or more wires in a bundle.” said Don Wike, senior system engineer at Empower RF Systems. “We’re able to carry things like Display Port, USB, SPI, Ethernet and general purpose I/O into a small fiber lane that provides higher power density while offering ease of assembly. “ 

Another significant benefit is the elimination of EM emission and susceptibility of the wired conductors it replaces. Wike noted, “The fiber optics gives us a large benefit packing very high power into a small package. The fiber optics comes into play because of the EMI immunity, that’s really where it shines.”