4:1 Silicon Photonic Serializer for Data Center Interconnects Demonstrating 104 Gbaud OOK and PAM4 Transmission

Jochem Verbist, Michael Vanhoecke*, Mads Lillieholm, Srinivasan Ashwyn Srinivasan, Peter De Heyn, Joris Van Campenhout, Michael Galili, Leif Katsuo Oxenløwe, Xin Yin, Johan Bauwelinck, Gunther Roelkens

*Corresponding author for this work

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With next-generation optical interconnects for data centers aiming for 0.8 Tb/s or 1.6 Tb/s, 100 Gbaud capable transmitters from a single-laser source will become indispensable. However, these lane rates would require bandwidths of 70 GHz or more, doubling the bandwidth requirements of the electrical and optical components with respect to the fastest current generation of optical interconnects running at 53 Gbaud PAM-4. In this paper, we propose an integrated 4:1 optical serializer topology to achieve 104 Gbaud NRZ and PAM-4 transmission using only quarter rate components at the transmitter. We show 104 (208) Gbit/s OOK (PAM4) transmission using four GeSi EAMs over 1 km of SMF. For 104 Gbaud OOK, clearly open eyes are obtained, while for PAM-4 the performance is limited by the non-linear E/O-transfer function of the EAM. However, adding pre-emphasis in the electrical driver or replacing the single EAM with our previously demonstrated optical DAC topology -consisting of two EAMs in parallel with a 90° phase difference between each- could substantially improve these results. Additionally, we discuss the possibility of a four channel transmitter (4 x 208 Gb/s) from a single mode locked laser, amounting to a 832 Gb/s rate based on the current demonstrator.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1498-1503
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Integrated optics
  • Optical interconnects
  • Silicon photonics
  • Waveguide modulators


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