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Proceedings Paper

Flexible multimode polymer waveguides for high-speed short-reach communication links
Author(s): N. Bamiedakis; F. Shi; D. Chu; R. V. Penty; I. H. White
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Paper Abstract

Multimode polymer waveguides have attracted great interest for use in high-speed short-reach communication links as they can be cost-effectively integrated onto standard PCBs using conventional methods of the electronics industry and provide low loss (<0.04 dB/cm at 850 nm) and high bandwidth (>30 GHz×m) interconnection. The formation of such waveguides on flexible substrates can further provide flexible low-weight low-thickness interconnects and offer additional freedom in the implementation of high-speed short-reach optical links. These attributes make these flexible waveguides particularly attractive for use in low-cost detachable chip-to-chip links and in environments where weight and shape conformity become important, such as in cars and aircraft. However, the highly-multimoded nature of these waveguides raises important questions about their performance under severe flex due to mode loss and mode coupling. In this work therefore, we investigate the loss, crosstalk and bandwidth performance of such waveguides under out-of plane bending and in-plane twisting under different launch conditions and carry out data transmission tests at 40 Gb/s on a 1 m long spiral flexible waveguide under flexure. Excellent optical transmission characteristics are obtained while robust loss, crosstalk and bandwidth performance are demonstrated under flexure. Error-free (BER<10-12) 40 Gb/s data transmission is achieved over the 1 m long spiral waveguide for a 180° bend with a 4 mm radius. The obtained results demonstrate the excellent optical and mechanical properties of this technology and highlight its potential for use in real-world systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 February 2018
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 10538, Optical Interconnects XVIII, 105380N (22 February 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2289737
Show Author Affiliations
N. Bamiedakis, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
F. Shi, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
D. Chu, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
R. V. Penty, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
I. H. White, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10538:
Optical Interconnects XVIII
Henning Schröder; Ray T. Chen, Editor(s)

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