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Opt Lett. 2016 Nov 15;41(22):5369-5372. doi: 10.1364/OL.41.005369.

Low-power DAC-less PAM-4 transmitter using a cascaded microring modulator.


Future super-computer interconnect systems and data centers request ultrahigh data rate links at low cost and power consumption, for which transmitters with a high level of integration and spectral efficient formats are key components. We report 60 Gb/s pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM-4) of an optical signal using a dual-microring silicon photonics circuit, making a low-power, digital-to-analog converter (DAC)-less PAM modulator. The power consumption is evaluated below 100 fJ/bit, including thermal adjustments. To the best of our knowledge, these results feature the lowest reported power consumption for PAM signaling in a DAC-less scheme for data rate beyond 40 Gb/s.


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