Reclaiming Light Dropped During Optical Modulation to Bias Avalanche Photodetectors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The introduction of avalanche photodetectors in
optical interconnects can extend the unallocated optical budget while unleashing further opportunities to migrate to novel datacenter network architectures. The required high-voltage rail that biases the photodiodes would involve a specialized electronic circuitry but will be instead harvested directly at the optical
layer, taking advantage of the dropped power during optical modulation at local transmitters. Rather than dumping light resulting from extinct space bits, we will collect this contribution and convert it to a high-voltage bias by means of a photovoltaic power conversion circuit that is shared among and powered from all constituent data lanes of the optical interconnect. We will
experimentally demonstrate that this energy reclamation circuit can sustain the sourced current during avalanche photodetection
whilst maintaining a bias rail at ~25V with continuity, as will be proven for up to 64 data lanes. We demonstrate an optical budget
of ~30 dB for 10 Gb/s/lane transmission, with a reception penalty as small as 0.2 dB with respect to an electrically biased photoreceiver. We will further elaborate on the limitations linked
to the proposed concept, such as in terms of dynamic range.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1704-1711
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number6
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Research Field

  • Enabling Digital Technologies


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