Background: Avalanche photodiodes in Telecom and Datacom
Avalanche photodiodes (APDs) provide a cost-effective solution to receivers for Telecom and Datacom. An APD relaxes the power requirement for incoming optical pulses, which translates to longer optical links and/or higher bit rates. APDs are used, whenever their speeds permit, to improve the receiver sensitivity, which is the minimum optical power required at the receiver to achieve bit-error rates required by industry standards (10-9 or 10-12). Due to the APD’s traditional speed limitations, also termed the buildup-time limitation, which constrains the gain-bandwidth product, producing viable 25-Gbps APDs has been a challenge for the optical communication wavelengths of 1.3 or 1.55 micron.
Dynamic Photonics, Inc. (DPI) invented a revolutionary dynamic-biasing method for APDs that substantially raises the envelope for the speed-sensitivity trade-off in APD receivers well beyond the traditionally known limits.
DPI’s technology enables InGaAs APDs to penetrate the 25 Gbps (per channel) Telelcom and Datacom markets and beyond.
The primary innovation is the replacement of the traditional static bias voltage across the APD with a bit-synchronous, time-varying voltage. Our other innovations relate to implementation, in particular to ensuring that the dynamic bias voltage does not affect the photo-current, and hence the data recovery circuit. Our technology enables any APD receiver to operate at previously impossible rates. Testing has shown that DPI’s dynamic-biasing technology is capable of a 6db improvement in sensitivity. DPI has recently demonstrated that dynamic biasing enables the 25 Gbps operation of an off-the-shelf InGaAs-InP 10 Gbps APD operating at a speed of 25 Gbps. An example of the eye widening due to dynamic biasing for a 3Gbps APD is shown below.
DPI has an intellectual property portfolio of four patents and patent applications. The core technology, invented by the DPI co-founders, has been patented (in 2016) and exclusively licensed from the University of New Mexico (UNM). The second UNM patent application covers various methods of implementation. DPI has also invented and solely owns other patent-pending technologies. The first DPI patent application applies the technology to alternate modulation schemes, and the second patent application covers improves upon implementations.
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