Low cutoff G.657-compatible fiber for data center interconnects operating in the 1064 and 1310 nm windows
Paper in proceedings, 2020
Optical interconnects in data centers have traditionally used 850 nm GaAs-based vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) in combination with multimode fiber, having a reach up to 100 m in length. Longer links typically use standard single-mode fiber in conjunction with either InP-based edge-emitting lasers or silicon photonic transmitters operating in the 1310 nm or 1550 nm window. Single-mode GaAs-based VCSELs operating at 1064 nm offer another path for achieving longer system reach. Potential advantages of these VCSELs include better power efficiency, modulation speeds reaching 50 Gbps and large-scale fabrication volumes. The longer wavelength is also beneficial due to the lower attenuation and chromatic dispersion of optical fibers at that wavelength. However, one practical issue for single-mode transmission is that the G.657 standard for single-mode fiber requires that the 22-meter cable cutoff wavelength be less than 1260 nm, and these fibers are typically few-moded at 1064 nm. The large differences between the group velocities of the LP01 and LP11 modes can lead to degradation of the system performance due to multi-path interference if the higher order modes are present. To resolve this quandary, we have designed and validated the performance of a new optical fiber which is single-moded at wavelengths less than 1064 nm, but also has G.657-compliant mode field diameter and dispersion characteristics that enable it to be used in the 1310 nm window.