First live demo of 200G PAM4 Mach-Zehnder modulated laser PIC

First live demo of 200G PAM4 Mach-Zehnder modulated laser PIC

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Coherent is demonstrating its 200G four-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM4) Mach-Zehnder modulated laser technology in an integrated photonic chip for the first time this week in the US.

The live demonstration combines a distributed feedback laser (DFB) and Mach-Zehnder modulator combined monolithically in a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) that enables 200G PAM4 for 1.6T transceivers with up to 10 km reach.

“This is to our knowledge the industry’s first such laser technology demonstration. We have combined into one PIC the functional elements and integration experience of several of our most advanced devices, which are each breakthrough innovations on their own,” said Dr. Beck Mason, Executive Vice President, Telecommunications, for Coherent, formerly II-VI.

“This PIC incorporates our knowledge from electroabsorption-modulated lasers, IQ modulators for coherent applications, and tunable lasers with Mach-Zehnder modulators. It will enable higher-performance longer-reach PAM4 optical links.”

The differential drive of the DFB-MZ laser achieves superior signal integrity, particularly in higher-density multichannel designs. The DFB-MZ features a channel-specific chirp control that provides excellent dispersion management.

The DFB-MZ supports wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), including local area network (LWDM) and coarse (CWDM) wavelength plans. A cooled DFB-MZ supports LWDM for reach up to 10 km. An uncooled DFB-MZ supports CWDM for shorter reaches.

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