Performance evaluation of photonic Sigma Delta ADCS
Tan, Yean Wee
Pace, Phillip E.
Jenn, David C.
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The integration of photonic and electronic components to realize a photonic sigma delta ADC is considered in this thesis. The integration process was broken up into steps. First, the performance of a pair of dual-port Mach-Zehnder interferometers (MZI) modulating a train of narrow high-speed laser pulses from a mode-locked laser was investigated. Various parameters like the half-wave voltage (V) and insertion loss were verified. Next, the ability of the MZIs to modulate the laser pulses, including the subtraction of two RF signals going into the two RF ports, was investigated. After that, the performance of a high-speed comparator circuit was evaluated. The comparator circuit was implemented using high-speed analog components capable of supporting data rates of up to 50 Gbps. The comparator components have to be tested individually and then integrated to ensure that they are able to amplitude analyze the modulated laser pulses using their respective matching threshold values. Lastly, the performance of the ring resonator, which was fabricated by the University of California Santa Barbara, was investigated. The ring resonator functions as an accumulator in the photonic ADC. In addition, a MATLAB simulation designed previously was used to simulate the behavior of the photonic sigma delta ADC. It was modified to speed up the simulation time and incorporate actual hardware parameters, including the time and amplitude jitter of the mode-locked laser. These laser parameters were characterized using a high-speed sampling oscilloscope. Thus, it was possible to predict the performance of the ADC under adverse effects as well as to show how the various electrical and optical signals appear at different parts of the circuit, which greatly adds to the efficiency of the integration process.
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