Multicore fiber enables a parallel optic data link in a single optical fiber. Thus, it is an attractive approach to increase the aggregate data throughput and the integration density of the interconnection.
We developed and demonstrated mid-board optical transceiver modules employing novel multicore fiber pigtails and multicore-optimized optoelectronic engines. The silica fibers having 125 µm diameter and including six graded-index multimode cores enable multi-gigabit interconnects at very short distances. The fiber is compatible with the 850-nm VCSEL technology that has many advantages, such as, the very low power operation and the mature and cost-effective GaAs-based device technology.
The transceiver incorporates transmitter and receiver subassemblies that are based on the multicore-optimized 850-nm VCSEL and photodiode array chips as well as on the co-designed multichannel VCSEL driver and TIA receiver ICs. All devices are operating up to 25 Gbps/channel and beyond, thus creating a 150 Gbps full-duplex link with the two 6-core fibers. The active areas on the 6-channel VCSEL and PD chips are arranged in a circular array layout that matches the cross-sectional layout of the fiber cores. This allows butt coupling to the fiber cores. The power consumption of the complete link is below 5 mW/Gbps.
The transceiver was developed to be applicable for harsh environmental conditions, including space. Therefore, for instance, hermetic packaging was applied and both the active devices and the integration structure enable very wide operation temperature range of up to approx. 100 °C.
This paper will present the technical approach including the basic building blocks and the transceiver module implementation. It will also present the results of the data link performance and some reliability testing.
Mikko Karppinen, Antti Tanskanen, Jyrki Ollila, Johan Gustavsson, Anders Larsson, Minsu Ko, Dietmar Kissinger, Lars Grüner-Nielsen, Christian Larsen , Rashid Safaisini, Anaëlle Maho, Michel Sotom, and Leontios Stampoulidis, "Multichannel VCSEL-based optical transceiver employing multicore fibers at 6x25 Gbps/fiber (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10538, Optical Interconnects XVIII, 105380C (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 30, 2018; Published: 14 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2295678.5751517303001.
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