We evaluate current vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) and multiple-quantum-well (MQW) modulator technologies for low-fanout system applications. Si-CMOS transimpedance receiver circuits are used in the comparison. The aggregate bandwidth per unit area is calculated from the bandwidth and the total on-chip power dissipation. The results indicate that the electrical power dissipation in the receiver circuits dominates at low operating frequencies. At high operating frequencies the receiver gain drops significantly, thus more electrical power is dissipated in the transmitter to provide more optical power to the receiver to satisfy the voltage requirement at the receiver output. In VCSEL based systems, the optical power is generated entirely on-chip. Thus, only VCSELs with low threshold current and low series resistance would be able to provide the same aggregate bandwidth as the MQW modulator based systems.
- Free-space optical interconnection
- Multiple-quantum-well modulator
- Transimpedance optical receiver
- Vertical surface-emitting laser
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics