Digital coherent technology is considered an attractive way of realizing both high-speed metro links and long distance transmissions. In metro areas, there is a strong demand for a smaller, faster transceiver module. This demand is mainly driven by the rapidly increasing data center interconnection traffic, where transmission capacity per faceplane is a key feature. Therefore, optical integration technology is desired. Since compensation in digital coherent technology is performed in the electrical or digital domain, users can deal with those optics performances that are not compensated for digitally. This means using a new material that cannot provide perfect characteristics but that is suitable for miniaturization and integration is possible. Silicon photonics (SiPh) is considered an attractive technology that would enable the significant miniaturization of optical circuits and be capable of optical integration with high manufacturability. While SiPh-based devices have begun to be deployed for very short or short reach links on the basis of direct detection technology, their digital coherent applications have recently been investigated in view of their integration capability. This paper describes recent progress on SiPh-based integrated optical devices for high-speed digital coherent transceivers targeting metro links. An optical modulator and receiver with related circuits have been integrated into a single SiPh chip. TEC-free operation under non-hermetic conditions and the direct attachment of optical fibers have both been realized. Very thin and small packaging with sufficient performance has been demonstrated by using the SiPh chip co-packaged with high-speed ICs.
H. Fukuda, K. Kikuchi, M. Jizodo, Y. Kawamura, K. Takeda, and K. Honda, "Silicon photonics devices for metro applications," Proc. SPIE 10129, Optical Metro Networks and Short-Haul Systems IX, 101290B (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 02, 2017; Published: 28 January 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254788.
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