A Low-Voltage 35-GHz Silicon Photonic Modulator-Enabled 112-Gb/s Transmission System

We present a silicon photonic traveling-wave Mach-Zehnder modulator operating near 1550 nm with a 3-dB bandwidth of 35 GHz. A detailed analysis of travelingwave electrode impedance, microwave loss, and phase velocity is presented. Small-and large-signal characterization of the device validates the design methodology.

We further investigate the performance of the device in a short-reach transmission system. We report a successful 112-Gb/s transmission of four-level pulse amplitude modulation over 5 km of SMF using 2.2 Vp_p drive voltage. Digital signal processing is applied at the transmitter and receiver. 56-GBaud PAM-4 and 64-Gb/s PAM-2 transmission is demonstrated below a pre-FEC hard decision threshold of 4.4 x 10-3.

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