High-Performance VCSELs for Optical Data Links

Rainer MICHALZIK  Karl Joachim EBELING  Max KICHERER  Felix MEDERER  Roger KING  Heiko UNOLD  Roland JAGER  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E84-B    No.5    pp.1255-1264
Publication Date: 2001/05/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section INVITED PAPER (Joint Special Issue on Recent Progress in Optoelectronics and Communications)
Category: Optical Active Devices and Modules
surface-emitting lasers,  optical interconnection,  10-Gigabit Ethernet,  wavelength-division multiplexing,  polymer waveguides,  

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The present paper discusses several promising application areas for optical data links based on high-performance vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser diodes (VCSELs). Both 850 and 980 nm emission wavelength devices realized in the GaAs-AlGaAs or InGaAs-AlGaAs material systems are considered. We show data transmission results of 10 Gb/s signals at 830 nm wavelength over a new high-bandwidth multimode silica fiber of up to 1.6 km length. The same fiber type is employed to demonstrate the first 40 Gb/s transport over 300 m distance by means of a 4-channel coarse wavelength-division multiplexing approach. A first 1 10 linear VCSEL array capable of 10 Gb/s per channel operation is presented for use in next generation parallel optical modules. To improve the singlemode emission characteristics for output power in the 5 mW range we introduce a new device concept incorporating a long monolithic cavity. For low-cost short-distance data links we investigate graded-index polymer optical fibers and report on up to 9 Gb/s transmission over a length of 100 m. Polymer waveguides are also used in an optical layer of a hybrid electrical-optical printed circuit board. Transmitted 10 Gb/s optical data over a prototype board show the potential of this new technology. Finally we present two-dimensional VCSEL arrays for highly parallel data transport on a CMOS chip level. Both 980 and 850 nm bottom emitting devices with modulation capabilities up to 12.5 Gb/s are discussed.