High-Speed Integrated Circuits for Quasi-Coherent Optical Receivers

By Guillermo Silva Valdecasa

Bifrost Communications Aps has developed a simplified version of an optical coherent receiver – the so-called Quasi-Coherent Receiver. It is based on optical heterodyning followed by high-speed analog signal processing, the latter relying on high-performance integrated circuits (ICs). A high receiver sensitivity (-35 dBm input optical power) and filter-less wavelength selectivity have been demonstrated at 10 Gbps data rates in system demonstrators.

This project aims to improve the functionality, performance and cost of the Quasi-Coherent Receiver by exploiting the capabilities of down-scaled SiGe BiCMOS technologies. Research and development on high-speed ICs and advanced circuit techniques in these technology platforms are expected to enable 25 Gbps and 50 Gbps operation. This is in line with the urgent demands for higher bandwidth and efficient use of the network from upcoming access network standards, and will require the use of advanced modulation formats, optical impairment mitigation techniques, and potential co-integration of photonic and electronic components.

By tackling these challenges, this project is expected to advance the Quasi-Coherent Receiver technology within the fields of high-speed IC design, heterodyne integration, and photonics integration. The project is carried out as a collaboration between DTU Elektro and Bifrost Communications, and is partly funded by the INCOM project.

To be completed: 2021