per second vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL)56,57,58,59,60 transmitters became the dominant transmitters due to the low-drive voltage and low manufacturing cost. At present, 10 Gb/s VCSELs are being deployed and 40 Gb/s have been demonstrated in laboratories.61,62 Research efforts toward wavelength-tunable and 100 Gb/s direct modulated lasers will be important for next-generation broadband communications.63,64

High-Speed Electronic Circuits. Electronic circuits are an “optical system’s best friend.” High-speed, high-output-power and linear electronics are clearly needed to drive the optical modulators, and high-speed logic circuits are crucial to achieving the signal processing in coherent, MIMO, and OFDM systems.65,66 Good electronics can help mitigate many of the problems produced in the optical domain, thereby enabling better system performance.

Photonic Integration. In general, a system with better performance requires more components, which might make the system even more complex. For example, the transceiver in a system using higher-order modulation formats is much more complicated

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56 Soda, H., K. Iga, C. Kitahara, and Y. Suematsu. 1979. GaInAsP/InP surface emitting injection lasers. Japanese Journal of Applied Physics 18:2329-2330.

57 Watanabe, I., F. Koyama, and K. Iga. 1986. Low temperature CW operation of GaInAsP/InP surface emitting laser with circular buried heterostructure. Electronics Letters 22:1325-1327.

58 Jewell, J.L., S.L. McCall, Y.H. Lee, A. Scherer, A.C. Gossard, and J.H. English. 1989. Lasing characteristics of GaAs microresonators. Applied Physics Letters 54:1400-1402.

59 Chang-Hasnain, C.J., J.P. Harbison, G. Hasnain, A. Von Lehmen, L.T. Florez, and N.G. Stoffel. 1991. Dynamic, polarization, and transverse mode characteristics of vertical cavity surface emitting lasers. IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics 27:1402-1409.

60 Maeda, M.W., C.J. Chang-Hasnain, J.S. Patel, C. Lin, H.A. Johnson, and J.A. Walker. 1991. Use of a multi-wavelength surface-emitting laser array in a 4-channel wavelength-division-multiplexed system experiment. IEEE Photonics Technology Letters 3:268-269.

61 Müller, M., W. Hofmann, A. Nadtochiy, A. Mutig, G. Böhm, M. Ortsiefer, D. Bimberg, and M.-C. Amann. 2010. B1.55 m high-speed VCSELs enabling error-free fiber-transmission up to 25 Gbit/s. Proceedings of International Semiconductor Laser Conference (ISLC), September 26-30, Kyoto, Japan, pp. 156-157.

62 Westbergh, P., J.S. Gustavsson, B. Kögel, A. Haglund, and A. Larsson. 2011. Impact of photon lifetime on high-speed VCSEL performance. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics 17(6):1603-1613.

63 Chang-Hasnain, C.J. 2000. Tunable VCSEL. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics 6(6):978-987.

64 Taubenblatt, M.A. 2012. Optical interconnects for high-performance computing. Journal of Lightwave Technology 30(4):448-457.

65 Li, T.Y. 1993. The impact of optical amplifiers on long-distance lightwave telecommunications. Proceedings of the IEEE 81:1568-1579.

66 Kurtzke, C. 1993. Suppression of fiber nonlinearities by appropriate dispersion management. IEEE Photonics Technology Letters 5:1250-1253.



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