Integrated photonic analog-to-digital converters
Author(s)Khilo, Anatol (Anatol M.)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Franz X. Kärtner.
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Accurate conversion of wideband multi-GHz analog signals into the digital domain has long been a target of analog-to-digital converter (ADC) developers, driven by applications in radar systems, software radio, medical imaging, and communication systems. Aperture jitter has been a major bottleneck on the way towards higher speeds and better accuracy. Photonic ADCs, which perform sampling using ultra-stable optical pulse trains generated by mode-locked lasers, have been investigated as a promising approach to overcome the jitter problem and bring ADC performance to new levels. This work demonstrates that the photonic approach can deliver on its promise by digitizing a 41 GHz signal with 7.0 effective bits and 52 dBc spur-free dynamic range (SFDR) using a discrete-component photonic ADC. This corresponds to 15 fs jitter, a 4-5 times improvement over the jitter of the best electronic ADCs, and an order of magnitude improvement over the jitter of electronic ADCs operating above 10 GHz. The feasibility of a practical photonic ADC is demonstrated by creating an integrated ADC with a modulator, filters, and photodetectors fabricated on a single silicon chip and using it to sample a 10 GHz signal with 3.5 effective bits and 39 dBc SFDR. In both experiments, a sample rate of 2.1 GSa/s was obtained by interleaving two 1.05 GSa/s channels; higher sample rates can be achieved by increasing the channel count. A key component of a multi-channel ADC - a dual multi-channel high-performance filter bank - is successfully implemented. A concept for broadband linearization of the silicon modulator, which is another critical component of the photonic ADC, is proposed. Nonlinear phenomena in silicon microring filters and their impact on ADC performance are analyzed, and methods to reduce this impact are proposed. The results presented in the thesis suggest that a practical integrated photonic ADC, which successfully overcomes the electronic jitter bottleneck, is possible today.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 161-172).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.