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Silicon photonic mach-zehnder modulator architectures for on chip PAM-4 signal generation and transmission

Samani, Alireza, El-Fiky, Eslam, Morsy-Osman, Mohamed, Li, Rui, Patel, David, Hoang, Thang, Jacques, Maxime, Abadia, Nicolas ORCID:, Chagnon, Mathieu and Plant, David V. 2019. Silicon photonic mach-zehnder modulator architectures for on chip PAM-4 signal generation and transmission. Journal of Lightwave Technology 37 (13) , pp. 2989-2999. 10.1109/JLT.2019.2908655

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Four level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM-4) has become the modulation format of choice to replace on-off keying (OOK) for the 400 Gb/s short reach optical communications systems. In this manuscript, we investigate the possible modifications to conventional Mach-Zehnder modulator structures to improve the system performance. We present 3 different Silicon photonic Mach-Zehnder modulator architectures for generating PAM-4 in the optical domain using OOK electrical driving signals. We investigate the transfer function and linearity of each modulator, and experimentally compare their PAM-4 generation and transmission performance with and without use of digital signal processing (DSP). We achieve the highest reported PAM-4 generation and transmission without the use of DSP. The power consumption of each modulator is presented, and we experimentally show that multi-electrode Mach-Zehnder modulators provide a clear advantage at higher symbol rates compared to conventional Mach-Zehnder modulators.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: Optical Society of America
ISSN: 0733-8724
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 May 2019
Date of Acceptance: 21 March 2019
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:20

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