Demonstration of a high extinction ratio monolithic CMOS integrated nanophotonic transmitter and 16 Gb/s optical link

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We present a 16-Gb/s transmitter composed of a stacked voltage-mode CMOS driver and periodic-loaded reverse biased pn junction Mach-Zehnder modulator. The transmitter shows 9-dB extinction ratio and 10.3-pJ/bit power consumption and operates with 1.3 μm light. Penalties as low as 0.5 dB were seen as compared to a 25-Gb/s LiNbO3 transmitter with both a monolithic metal-semiconductor-metal receiver and a reference receiver at 16-Gb/s operation. We also present an analytic expression for relative transmitter penalty (RTP), which allows one to quickly assess the system impact of design parameters such as peak-to-peak modulator drive voltage, modulator figure of merit, and transmitter extinction ratio to determine the circumstances under which a stacked CMOS cascode driver is desirable.