The information rate (IR) of a digital coherent transceiver is constrained by the inherent practical signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) limit. Coded modulation, which is the combination of multi-level modulation and forward error correction, aims to maximize the IR within this SNR envelope. While probabilistic constellation shaping has enhanced this methodology by providing an increase in IR over conventionally employed square quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) formats, it is the ability to eloquently tune the per wavelength IR by varying the symbol probabilities that has gained this scheme significant traction within optical communications in recent years. As commercial line cards continue their evolution towards 100 GBd and to modulation formats beyond 64QAM, we discuss the merits of probabilistic shaping for high symbol rate digital coherent transceivers in the presence of a practical SNR limit.
Silicon photonics has reached a considerable level of maturity, and the complexity of photonic integrated circuits (PIC) is steadily increasing. As the number of components in a PIC grows, loss management becomes more and more important. Integrated semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOA) will be crucial components in future photonic systems for loss compensation. In addition, there are specific applications, where SOAs can play a key role beyond mere loss compensation, such as modulated reflective SOAs in carrier distributed passive optical networks or optical gates in packet switching. It is, therefore, highly desirable to find a generic integration platform that includes the possibility of integrating SOAs on silicon. Various methods are currently being developed to integrate light emitters on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) waveguide circuits. Many of them use III-V materials for the hybrid integration on SOI. Various types of lasers have been demonstrated by several groups around the globe. In some of the integration approaches, SOAs can be implemented using essentially the same technology as for lasers. In this paper we will focus on SOA devices based on a hybrid integration approach where III-V material is bonded on SOI and a vertical optical mode transfer is used to couple light between SOI waveguides and guides formed in bonded III-V semiconductor layers. In contrast to evanescent coupling schemes, this mode transfer allows for a higher confinement factor in the gain material and thus for efficient light amplification over short propagation distances. We will outline the fabrication process of our hybrid components and present some of the most interesting results from a fabricated and packaged hybrid SOA.
The lack of potent integrated light emitters is one of the bottlenecks that have so far hindered the silicon photonics platform from revolutionizing the communication market. Photonic circuits with integrated light sources have the potential to address a wide range of applications from short-distance data communication to long-haul optical transmission. Notably, the integration of lasers would allow saving large assembly costs and reduce the footprint of optoelectronic products by combining photonic and microelectronic functionalities on a single chip. Since silicon and germanium-based sources are still in their infancy, hybrid approaches using III-V semiconductor materials are currently pursued by several research laboratories in academia as well as in industry. In this paper we review recent developments of hybrid III-V/silicon lasers and discuss the advantages and drawbacks of several integration schemes. The integration approach followed in our laboratory makes use of wafer-bonded III-V material on structured silicon-on-insulator substrates and is based on adiabatic mode transfers between silicon and III-V waveguides. We will highlight some of the most interesting results from devices such as wavelength-tunable lasers and AWG lasers. The good performance demonstrates that an efficient mode transfer can be achieved between III-V and silicon waveguides and encourages further research efforts in this direction.
We describe a hybrid III-V on Silicon laser designed for low noise class-A dynamics. The laser is based on an InP active region and a passive silicon region integrated in a long laser cavity. High-Q ring resonators are used as optical filters in order to achieve single frequency operation. A fiber-coupled output power of 4.6 mW and a 55 dB side mode suppression ratio are obtained. For a pumping rate of 5.2, the hybrid laser exhibits a Relative Intensity Noise below -145 dB/Hz over a wide frequency bandwidth, from 100 MHz to 40 GHz but still suffers from some noise excess due to relaxation oscillations phenomena and side modes noise. The optimization of the laser cavity design is discussed in order to reach class-A dynamics while reducing residual noise excess.
Silicon photonics is attracting large attention due to the promise of fabricating low-cost, compact circuits that integrate photonic and microelectronic elements. It can address a wide range of applications from short distance data communication to long haul optical transmission. Today, practical Si-based light sources are still missing, despite the recent demonstration of an optically pumped germanium laser. This situation has driven research to the heterogeneous integration of III-V semiconductors on silicon through wafer bonding techniques. This paper reports on recent advances on integrated hybrid InP/SOI lasers and transmitters using a wafer bonding technique made in particular at III-V Lab, France.
In this work we present results from high performance silicon optical modulators produced within the two largest silicon
photonics projects in Europe; UK Silicon Photonics (UKSP) and HELIOS. Two conventional MZI based optical
modulators featuring novel self-aligned fabrication processes are presented. The first is based in 400nm overlayer SOI
and demonstrates 40Gbit/s modulation with the same extinction ratio for both TE and TM polarisations, which relaxes
coupling requirements to the device. The second design is based in 220nm SOI and demonstrates 40Gbits/s modulation
with a 10dB extinction ratio as well modulation at 50Gbit/s for the first time. A ring resonator based optical modulator,
featuring FIB error correction is presented. 40Gbit/s, 32fJ/bit operation is also shown from this device which has a 6um
radius. Further to this slow light enhancement of the modulation effect is demonstrated through the use of both
convention photonic crystal structures and corrugated waveguides. Fabricated conventional photonic crystal modulators
have shown an enhancement factor of 8 over the fast light case. The corrugated waveguide device shows modulation
efficiency down to 0.45V.cm compared to 2.2V.cm in the fast light case. 40Gbit/s modulation is demonstrated with a
3dB modulation depth from this device. Novel photonic crystal based cavity modulators are also demonstrated which
offer the potential for low fibre to fibre loss. In this case preliminary modulation results at 1Gbit/s are demonstrated.
Ge/SiGe Stark effect devices operating at 1300nm are presented. Finally an integrated transmitter featuring a III-V
source and MZI modulator operating at 10Gbit/s is presented.