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27 February 2013An all-silicon optical PC-to-PC link utilizing USB
An integrated silicon light source still remains the Holy Grail for integrated optical communication systems. Hot carrier
luminescent light sources provide a way to create light in a standard CMOS process, potentially enabling cost effective
optical communication between CMOS integrated circuits. In this paper we present a 1 Mb/s integrated silicon optical
link for information transfer, targeting a real-world integrated solution by connecting two PCs via a USB port while
transferring data optically between the devices. This realization represents the first optical communication product
prototype utilizing a CMOS light emitter. The silicon light sources which are implemented in a standard 0.35 μm CMOS
technology are electrically modulated and detected using a commercial silicon avalanche photodiode. Data rates
exceeding 10 Mb/s using silicon light sources have previously been demonstrated using raw bit streams. In this work
data is sent in two half duplex streams accompanied with the separate transmission of a clock. Such an optical
communication system could find application in high noise environments where data fidelity, range and cost are a
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Marius E. Goosen, Antonie C. Alberts, Petrus J. Venter, Monuko du Plessis, Pieter Rademeyer, "An all-silicon optical PC-to-PC link utilizing USB," Proc. SPIE 8630, Optoelectronic Interconnects XIII, 86300K (27 February 2013);