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Optical modulators

Silicon transceivers

Silicon DQSK transceiver for access networks

An ever growing amount of access network bandwidth is required by end users, and the deployment of passive optical networks, operating at up to 10 Gbit/s has already begun to address this demand. DQPSK modulation is a promising modulation format for scaling the bit rate at low cost while keeping the legacy 10 GHz devices.

We have demonstrated a silicon differential receiver for DQPSK demodulation operating up to 20Gb/s. The receiver integrates a tunable power splitter, a delay-line spiral, a compact 2x4 multimode interference 90 degree hybrid and two balanced germanium photodetectors. Each building block of the receiver was optimized for high performance, low loss and maximum compactness. We use zero bias balanced detection to achieve a 3dB increase in sensitivity as well as scaling down the complexity and size of the receiver.

A high-speed differential phase shift keying (DPSK) modulation using a silicon push-pull operated dual-drive Mach Zehnder modulator (MZM) based on carrier depletion has also experimentally demostrated. Up to 10 Gbit/s error-free modulation (BER<10-9) with no error floor was measured. Furthermore, the potential for higher DPSK modulation speeds up to 20 Gbit/s was also demonstrated.

This work was made in the framework of FP7 project HELIOS in collaboration with NTC spin-off DAS Photonics, CEA-Leti, Univ. Paris-Sud, University of Surrey, Ghent University-IMEC and Eindhoven University of Technology.

Figure 1

Optical photograph of the (a) silicon DQPSK receiver with integrated zero biased balanced detection and (b) silicon DPSK modulator


[1] "Silicon CMOS photonics platform for enabling high-speed DQPSK transceivers", P. Sanchis; M. Aamer; A. Brimont; A. M. Gutierrez; N. Sotiropoulos; H. de Waardt; D. Thomson; F.Y. Gardes; G. T. Reed; K. Ribaud; P. Grosse; J. M. Hartmann; J. M. Fedeli; D. Marris-Morini; E. Cassan; L. Vivien; D. Vermeulen; G. Roelkens; A. Håkansson. 15th International Conference on Transparent Optical Networks - ICTON. 23-27 June. Cartagena, Spain (invited paper).
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[2] "A Silicon Differential Receiver With Zero-Biased Balanced Detection for Access Networks", M. Aamer; N. Sotiropoulos; A. Brimont; J. M. Fedeli; D. Marris-Morini; E. Cassan; L. Vivien; K. Ribaud; P. Grosse; J. M. Hartmann; D. Vermeulen; G. Roelkens; P. Sanchis; A. Håkansson. IEEE PHOTONICS TECHNOLOGY LETTERS, Vol. 25, n. 13, pp. 1207-1210, July 2013.

[3] "10 Gbit/s error-free DPSK modulation using a push-pull dual-drive silicon modulator", M. Aamer; D. Thomson; A. M. Gutierrez; A. Brimont; F.Y. Gardes; G. T. Reed; J. M. Fedeli; A. Håkansson; P. Sanchis. OPTICS COMMUNICATIONS, Vol. 304, n. , pp. 107-110, September 2013.