DOI: 10.3390/nano14060486 ISSN: 2079-4991

Data Center Four-Channel Multimode Interference Multiplexer Using Silicon Nitride Technology

Ophir Isakov, Aviv Frishman, Dror Malka
  • General Materials Science
  • General Chemical Engineering

The operation of a four-channel multiplexer, utilizing multimode interference (MMI) wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology, can be designed through the cascading of MMI couplers or by employing angled MMI couplers. However, conventional designs often occupy a larger footprint, spanning a few millimeters, thereby escalating the energy power requirements for the photonic chip. In response to this challenge, we propose an innovative design for a four-channel silicon nitride (Si3N4) MMI coupler with a compact footprint. This design utilizes only a single MMI coupler unit, operating within the O-band spectrum. The resulting multiplexer device can efficiently transmit four channels with a wavelength spacing of 20 nm, covering the O-band spectrum from 1270 to 1330 nm, after a short light propagation of 22.8 µm. Notably, the multiplexer achieves a power efficiency of 70% from the total input energy derived from the four O-band signals. Power losses range from 1.24 to 1.67 dB, and the MMI coupler length and width exhibit a favorable tolerance range. Leveraging Si3N4 material and waveguide inputs and output tapers minimizes light reflection from the MMI coupler at the input channels. Consequently, this Si3N4-based MMI multiplexer proves suitable for deployment in O-band transceiver data centers employing WDM methodology. Its implementation offers the potential for higher data bitrates while maintaining an exemplary energy consumption profile for the chip footprint.

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