This optical pulse train generator is a new electronic-photonic integrated circuit (EPIC) built on a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform, using a transfer matrix analysis of micro-rings with a time-interleaved architecture.
This optical arbitrary wave form generator on a silicon chip can be used in optical-based interconnect within computer systems, in telecommunication and in LADAR systems and instrumentation.
The EPIC circuit creates a train of pulses from a single optical pulse, with each pulse having an adjustable delay, and then combines the pulses to provide an arbitrary optical wave form. Such an optical circuit would be useful in large scale photonic integrated circuit applications to take advantage of the large bandwidth of photonics over electronic communication. DARPA, for example, has a program to demonstrate a waveform generator with 1 Thz bandwidth and a 10 GHz signal refresh rate, which this technology provides.
The intrinsic advantages of the micro-ring optical pulse train generating device are:
(1) This particular approach enables time-division multiplexing directly in the optical domain, which is both novel relative to other approaches and conceptually simpler.
(2) Accesses the large potential bandwidth of photonics Vs. the significantly slower speed of electronics
(3) Ultra-small device on a SOI chip