High-speed electronic integrated circuits are essential to the development of new fiber-optic communication systems. As a consequence of the increasing speeds and multi-channel operation, close integration and co-design of photonic and electronic devices have become a necessity to realize high-performance sub-systems. Such co-design on the other hand also enables the design of new electro-optic architectures to create and process multi-level optical signals. This presentation will illustrate a number of recent and ongoing developments in IDLab, an imec research group, from various H2020 projects with a focus on application-specific high-speed electronic transceiver circuits such as driver amplifiers and transimpedance amplifiers (TIAs).
The ever-increasing demands in traffic fueled by bandwidth hungry applications are pushing data centers to their limits challenging the capacity and scalability of currently established transceiver and switching technologies in data center interconnection (DCI) networks. Coherent optics emerged as a promising solution for inter-DCIs offering unprecedented capacities closer to data centers and relaxing the power budget restrictions of the link. QAMeleon, an EU funded R and D project, is developing a new generation of faster and greener sliceable bandwidth-variable electro-optical transceivers and WSS switches able to handle up to 128 Gbaud optical signals carrying flexible M-QAM constellations and novel modulation techniques. A summary of the progress on the QAMeleon transponder and Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) concepts is presented in this paper.