28 February 2006 Efficient optical communications using multibit differential signaling
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Abstract
We present an alternative signaling method for multi-channel fiber ribbon based optical links. The method is based on a hybrid of differential signaling and single-ended channels. Channels are grouped into code blocks of n-bits. Each code word transmitted in the block is restricted to conform to an n choose m rule. Electrical drivers steer current between m active VCSELS with no dummy loads. A virtual reference is synthesized from the received signals and used for differential discrimination. This signaling method approaches the signal-to-noise characteristics of fully differential signaling but can be implemented with significantly lower channel overhead, giving as much as a 33% reduction in fiber count and a 44% reduction in power. Further, code utilization rates on these links can be as low as 51%, leaving substantial code space available for ECC or channel management functions. In this paper, we describe the signaling method and present a prototype transceiver chip. The transceiver is implemented in 0.25um UTSi Silicon-on-Sapphire technology with flip-chip bonded VCSEL and photodetector arrays. The design demonstrates a pin-compatible alternative to the POP4-MSA transceiver standard with 125% greater data throughput and 25% better power efficiency.
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Donald M. Chiarulli, Steven P. Levitan, Samuel J. Dickerson, Jason D. Bakos, Joel Martin, "Efficient optical communications using multibit differential signaling", Proc. SPIE 6126, Photonics Packaging and Integration VI, 61260E (28 February 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.644306; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.644306
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