Sep 20 – 24, 2010
Aachen, Germany
Europe/Zurich timezone

Performance Evaluation of Zero- Biased VCSEL for High Speed Data Transmission

Sep 23, 2010, 4:00 PM


Poster Optoelectronics and Links POSTERS Session


Mr Sergio Silva (INESC Porto, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto)


In an optical transceiver, the power consumption related to the operation of the laser device takes a significant parcel of the total consumed power. The reduction of it is an important issue when a large number of transceiver devices are interconnected in an optical network, such as the one that supports the data transmission in particle physics experiments. An analysis and simulation results will be presented regarding the operation of a bias-free VCSEL device based on a previously developed model. The impact on BER of the increased turn-on jitter due to the bit-pattern and spontaneous emission will be considered.


The upgrade to the existing Large Hadron Collider in CERN (European
Organization for Nuclear Research) will require a boost of speed from the
digital transceivers (4.8 Gbits/s) to allow for the increase of data output from
the particle detectors. Low power consumption and low mass will be
determinant for the performance of the detector.
By operating the laser device with no bias-current (0 current at the logic 0
stage) significant power saving can be made (in the order of 25 to 50%)
regarding its operation with an optimum bias current. Nevertheless there will
be a penalty in the eye diagram shape and therefore in the BER (Bit Error
Rate). This is because of the turn-on delay increased jitter (about 50 pico
seconds in the obtained simulation results) due to bit-pattern dependent
effects and spontaneous emission.
Since the laser will only output optical power during the logic 1 stage, no
clutter noise due to the residual optical output power at the logic 0 stage will
be present in the network, possibly simplifying a passive optical network
receiver architecture.
By using a laser model ([1]), the bellow threshold and bias-free operation of a
VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Emitting Laser) device can be determined, the BER
penalty estimated and the trade off correctly considered ([2],[3]). The data
transmission speed limit can also be determined and its operation optimized
by changing the Ioff / Ithreshold and Ion / Ithreshold ratios.
Operating a laser device in a bias-free mode can save power, lower
transceiver complexity, mass and increase system reliability ([4]).
[1] Silva, S., Salgado, H., “VCSEL Laser Characterization and Modelling for future Optical
Transceiver at the Super Large Hadron Collider”, Proceedings of the ICTON2009,
Conference, Azores, Portugal, July 2009.
[2] Zei, L.; Petermann, K.; Jager, R.; Ebeling, K.J., "Operation range of VCSEL-interconnect
links with “below-threshold”-biasing", IEEE 12th Annual Meeting of the Lasers and
Electro-Optics Society 1999 (LEOS '99) , vol. 2, pp. 762-763, vol. 2, 1999.
[3] Cutrer, D.M.; Lau, K.Y., "Ultralow power optical interconnect with zero-biased, ultralow
threshold laser-how low a threshold is low enough?", IEEE Photonics Technology Letters,
vol.7, no.1, pp.4-6, January, 1995.
[4] Ly Khadijetou S.; Rissons A.; Gambardella E.; Bajon D.; Mollier J-C., “Modeling and
characterization of VCSEL-based Avionics Full Duplex Ethernet (AFDX) gigabit links”,
Proceedings of the Vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers Conference, No 12, San Jose
CA , vol. 6908, pp. 69080J.1-69080J.9, 2008.

Primary author

Mr Sergio Silva (INESC Porto, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto)


Mr H.M. Salgado (INESC Porto, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto) Mr J. C. S. Castro (INESC Porto, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto) Mr J. Oliveira (INESC Porto, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto) Mr L. Pessoa (INESC Porto, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto)

Presentation materials