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Opt Express. 2012 Dec 10;20(26):B419-27. doi: 10.1364/OE.20.00B419.

Photonic preprocessor for analog-to-digital-converter using a cavity-less pulse source.

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  • 1University of California San Diego, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.


A photonic preprocessor for analog to digital conversion is demonstrated and characterized using a cavity-less optical pulse source. The pulse source generates high fidelity pulses at 2 GHz repetition rate with temporal width of 3 ps. Chirped pulses are formed by cascaded amplitude and phase modulators, and subsequently compressed in dispersion compensating fiber. Sampling operation is performed with a dual-output Mach-Zehnder modulator, where the complimentary output enables a reduction of noise by 3 dB. Phase noise characterization shows that the phase noise of the generated pulses is fully dictated by the RF source. The high quality of the pulse source used in a sampling preprocessor experiment was verified by measuring 8 effective number of bits at 10 GHz and 7.0 effective number of bits at 40 GHz.

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