Interview with Tim Widdershoven from TREND Networks

  • Tim Widdershoven - Marketing Director

GoPhotonics interviewed Tim Widdershoven, the Marketing Director of TREND Networks. Tim joined TREND Networks in 2014 and is responsible for marketing globally. Whilst with TREND Networks, Tim has helped increase brand awareness using a digital strategy and created a pipeline of new products based on customer research. Prior to TREND Networks Tim was with ITW for 15 years.

Q. Can you tell us about Terahertz Technologies? When was the company founded? Where are you located? And what is your objective?

Tim Widdershoven: Terahertz Technologies (TTI), part of TREND Networks, is a leading manufacturer of fiber optic test equipment, photonics lab equipment, and analog/digital fiber optic links. We strive to empower industries and institutions we support with highly accurate, dependable test solutions. Since 1989, TTI has developed and engineered advanced test solutions from our headquarters in Oriskany, New York. Our comprehensive range of products is proudly manufactured in the United States and sold worldwide. 

Q. TREND Networks acquired Terahertz Technologies Inc. in May. What will change as a result of this acquisition?

Tim Widdershoven: In joining forces with TREND Networks, our customers will benefit from first-class technical support, cloud-based solutions, and ongoing investment in cutting-edge technologies. Our international team of industry experts will continue to develop innovative new products, and a renewed sales and marketing effort and international distribution network will bring TTI photonics and fiber optic equipment to more users across the globe. 

Q. What types of products do you develop? 

Tim Widdershoven: We develop and produce highly specialized photonics equipment, fiber optic links and fiber test equipment, but also support the standard testing requirements of a broad range for fiber optic networks across the globe.  Our photonics products include optical choppers, photodiode transimpedance amplifiers and a full range of optical to electrical converters from DC to 20GHz and fiber optic links to include uni-directional and bi-directional options. Our broad range of fiber optic equipment includes PM and LS test sets/with ORL, OTDRs, spanning the requirements for standard dual SM and MM through QUAD, PON, CWDM and DWDM networks. TTI also develops and manufactures a range of CWDM and DWDM optical channel analyzers/checkers along with a 98 channel DWDM tunable light source.

Q. Which is the fastest growing segment for you?

Tim Widdershoven: The bandwidth requirements around the globe have spurred great growth in multi-channel networks, which in turn requires a great demand for equipment in the DWDM and CWDM environments. TTI will continue to support all sectors of our product lines, but these are the growth areas demanded by our customers.

Q. Can you tell us more about the Fiber Optic Links that you develop? What are their specs, applications etc.?

Tim Widdershoven: We currently carry a broad range of fiber optic links, including analog, digital and analog/digital in both uni-directional (LTX55xx) and bi-directional (LTX72xx) styles.  These instruments are designed to convert up to 16 independent digital channels or 1 analog channel along with 4 digital channels of information over a fiber optic link with a single fiber at up to 2 G/s. These are available in multi-mode for short distances and single-mode for distance up to 10 km.

The LTX-xx25 models, for example, sample each of the channels up to 100 million times a second. The signals are then multiplexed and transmitted serially over an optical fiber at up to 2 G/s. The far end of the fiber link demultiplexes the signal back into independent outputs. Each of these channels may be toggled at rates up to 50 Mb/s.  Both uni-directional and bi-directional models only require a single fiber.

Using the LTX-xx15 transmitter in conjunction with the LTX-xx25 receiver results in a remote fiber-coupled 12-bit data acquisition system to digitize the analog signal at 50 Mb/s and reconstructs the digitized signal on the digital receiver.  

Our fiber optic links are the perfect solution for situations in which the signals to be transmitted have a high common mode voltage with respect to the receiving equipment. Applications include data acquisition for plasma physics experiments, operations through Faraday shields, and precise noise-free signal transmission in hostile EMI environments. 

Q. What Industries and Applications are Terahertz Technologies products used by? 

Tim Widdershoven: TTI photonic equipment is used in a broad segment of research and industry, including educational, LAN Enterprise, government, private and military research institutes. Segments include high-energy physics research both domestically and abroad, characterization of detector dark current, lightning research, spectroscopy, plasma physics research, laboratory testing of optical components, rapid doppler-shift LIDAR measurements, analog RF links over fiber and more.

TTI’s fiber optic test equipment is used in communications industries around the world, ranging from enterprise networks to the most intricate cable systems and telephony/wireless systems. TTI’s product and development group maintains a constant emphasis on developing products that support the burgeoning technologies required of today’s thirst for bandwidth.

Q. Do you offer a standard set of products, or can you customize products based on a requirement?

Tim Widdershoven: Terahertz Technologies understands that in the photonics industry customers can encounter unique requirements.  Though our product is designed to meet a vast majority of testing requirements, we are always willing to look at and hopefully be able to support the unique situation whenever possible.  Our fiber optic line of product is quite versatile and meets most testing conditions, with the standard amount of customization through configurable options and connector styles required today.

Q. Who are your customers? Where are they located? 

Tim Widdershoven: TTI has photonics and fiber optic link customers domestically and around the globe in governmental, educational, LAN Enterprise and private research and development groups. The fiber optic product is used by independent contractors and well as all the major cable and telephone companies both domestically and around the world.

Q. Can you tell us more about your Product Rental Program? 

Tim Widdershoven: TTI’s Global Solutions division sources high quality equipment internationally.  It is brought to our facility and test for 100 percent satisfactory operation and only then is it distributed to our customers.  We offer full technical support and maintenance on the equipment right here in Upstate New York.  

The rental department will rent this equipment as well as our standard TTI fiber optic test equipment with monthly rental rates. 

Q. What is your product and company roadmap for the next few years?

Tim Widdershoven: With the availability of greater resources, by virtue of the acquisition by TREND Networks, our customers should see a greater volume of product development then available in previous years.  

TREND Networks will be using their Oriskany, NY Fiber Optics Campus to continue developing and growing their fiber optic product lines in support of their extensive range of innovative data cable and network testing equipment. At TREND Networks, we want you to know that you can ‘Depend On Us’ to supply fast and accurate results in all circumstances.