Ultra-low-energy all-CMOS modulator integrated with driver


We report the first sub-picojoule per bit (400fJ/bit) operation of a silicon modulator intimately integrated with a driver circuit and embedded in a clocked digital transmitter. We show a wall-plug power efficiency below 400µW/Gbps for a 130nm SOI CMOS carrier-depletion ring modulator flip-chip integrated to a 90nm bulk Si CMOS driver circuit. We also demonstrate stable error-free transmission of over 1.5 petabits of data at 5Gbps over 3.5 days using the integrated modulator without closed-loop ring resonance tuning. Small signal measurements of the CMOS ring modulator, sans circuit, showed a 3dB bandwidth in excess of 15GHz at 1V of reverse bias, indicating that further increases in transmission rate and reductions of energy-per-bit is possible while retaining compatibility with CMOS drive voltages.

Opt. Express