Investigation of Integrated Circuits for High Datarate Optical Links

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Chun, Carl S. P.(Shun Ping)
Laskar, Joy
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Because of the need to move large amounts of data effienciently, optical based communications are a critical component of modern telecommunications. And as a key enabler of optical communications, electrical components play a critical role in optical data links. Optoelectronic integrated circuits provide the bridge between the optical and electrical realms. Electronic integrated circuits are also integral parts of the optical link, interfacing with post processing circuitry and compensating for any limitations along the link. In this investigation, three circuits for optical data link applications are studied. Two optoelectronic integrated circuit front-ends for freespace and long haul applications, respectively and an active filter for near end cross talk cancellation associated with high data rate transmission. The first circuit is an 8x8 monolithic receiver array for a Spatial Division Multiplexing optical link. A compact and low power 8x8 array was designed and demonstrated a channel that received data at rates of 1Gb/s. It is the first completely monolithic demonstration of a 2D receiver array within a conventional ion implanted GaAs MESFET process. The second circuit demonstrated a long wavelength (1.55 m) optoelectronic receiver for long haul applications. The circuit utilized a TWA topology, which maximizes the available bandwidth from the GaAs MESFET process. It incorporated a thin-film inverted MSM photodetector to achieve nearly monolithic integration. The final circuit is a tunable high pass active filter in 0.18 m CMOS technology. As part of a NEXT noise canceller architecture, it will provide the means to extend data transmission in FR-4 legacy backplanes into the tens of Gb/s datarate.
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