Researchers from IDLab, an Imec research group at Ghent University, have developed an optical receiver that achieves a gross data rate of 200 gigabits per second. At the European Conference on Optical Communication, they presented their approach of combining a SiGe BiCMOS transimpedance amplifier with a silicon photonics germanium photodetector, offering not only speed but also scalability.
“Currently, the most performant optical datacom transceivers operate at speeds up to 800 Gb/s, using for example 8 x 100 Gb/s channels, but the field is envisioning doubling the channel capacity to 200 Gb/s to reduce the transceiver complexity, cost and power consumption while improving manufacturing yield,” says Peter Ossieur, program manager for high-speed transceivers at IDLab.
Ossieur’s team has not only achieved the desired speed but also made sure their technology is scalable. “An alternative to reach such speeds is InP electronics, which is a more expensive and less scalable technology,” says Ossieur. “SiGe BiCMOS allows us to integrate more functionalities and the chips can also be manufactured at higher volumes.”
The team demonstrated their result in a setup with a silicon photonics Ge photodetector from Imec’s integrated silicon photonics platform (iSiPP), targeted to the telecom, datacom and medical diagnostics industries.