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Optical interconnects based on VCSELs and low-loss silicon photonics
Author(s): Timo Aalto; Mikko Harjanne; Mikko Karppinen; Matteo Cherchi; Aila Sitomaniemi; Jyrki Ollila; Antonio Malacarne; Christian Neumeyr
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Paper Abstract

Silicon photonics with micron-scale Si waveguides offers most of the benefits of submicron SOI technology while avoiding most of its limitations. In particular, thick silicon-on-insulator (SOI) waveguides offer 0.1 dB/cm propagation loss, polarization independency, broadband single-mode (SM) operation from 1.2 to >4 µm wavelength and ability to transmit high optical powers (>1 W). Here we describe the feasibility of Thick-SOI technology for advanced optical interconnects. With 12 μm SOI waveguides we demonstrate efficient coupling between standard single-mode fibers, vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) and photodetectors (PDs), as well as wavelength multiplexing in small footprint. Discrete VCSELs and PDs already support 28 Gb/s on-off keying (OOK), which shows a path towards 50-100 Gb/s bandwidth per wavelength by using more advanced modulation formats like PAM4. Directly modulated VCSELs enable very power-efficient optical interconnects for up to 40 km distance. Furthermore, with 3 μm SOI waveguides we demonstrate extremely dense and low-loss integration of numerous optical functions, such as multiplexers, filters, switches and delay lines. Also polarization independent and athermal operation is demonstrated. The latter is achieved by using short polymer waveguides to compensate for the thermo-optic effect in silicon. New concepts for isolator integration and polarization rotation are also explained.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 February 2018
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 10538, Optical Interconnects XVIII, 1053816 (22 February 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2290710
Show Author Affiliations
Timo Aalto, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland Ltd. (Finland)
Mikko Harjanne, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland Ltd. (Finland)
Mikko Karppinen, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland Ltd. (Finland)
Matteo Cherchi, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland Ltd. (Finland)
Aila Sitomaniemi, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland Ltd. (Finland)
Jyrki Ollila, VTT Technical Research Ctr. of Finland Ltd. (Finland)
Antonio Malacarne, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Italy)
National Lab. of Photonic Networks (Italy)
Christian Neumeyr, Vertilas GmbH (Germany)


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

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