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17 May 2010 Tunable silicon CROW delay lines
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Tunable coupled resonator optical waveguides (CROWs) are powerful and versatile devices that can be used to dynamically control the delay of optical data streams on chip. In this contribution we show that CROW delay lines fabricated on a silicon on insulator (SOI) platform are suitable for applications in the emerging scenario of optical systems at 100 Gbit/s. Issues concerning technology, design, limits and applications of SOI CROWs are discussed. The performances of silicon CROW delay lines activated by thermal tuning are compared to those of glass CROW in terms of power consumption, thermal crosstalk and reconfiguration speed. The continuous delay of 10-ps long optical pulses by 8 bit length is demonstrated by using a silicon CROW with a bandwidth of 87 GHz and made of 12 RRs. At 100 Gbit/s this structure provides comparable figures of merit (fractional delay of 0.75 bit/RR and fractional loss of 0.7 dB per bit-delay) of state-of-the art glass CROW operating at 10 Gbit/s, yet the area of the latter being three order of magnitude larger. The compatibility of silicon CROW with the emerging 100 Gbit/s systems is demonstrated by showing error-free phase-preserving propagation of a 100 Gbit/s return-to-zero (RZ) polarization-division-multiplexing (PolDM) differential quaternary phase shit keying (DQPSK) signal dynamically delayed by the CROW. It is also demonstrated that a silicon CROW can be used in a PolDM system to introduce a polarization selective delay in order to optimize the time interleaving of the two orthogonally polarized data streams.
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Francesco Morichetti, Antonio Canciamilla, Matteo Torregiani, Carlo Ferrari, Andrea Melloni, and Mario Martinelli "Tunable silicon CROW delay lines", Proc. SPIE 7719, Silicon Photonics and Photonic Integrated Circuits II, 771913 (17 May 2010);

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