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OSA/OFC/NFOEC 2011

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Demonstration of 50 Gbit/s 16QAM Signal Generation by Novel 16QAM Generation Method using a Dual-Drive InP Mach-Zehnder Modulator
Eiichi Yamada, Yasuo Shibata, Kei Watanabe, Takako Yasui, Akira Ohki, Hiroyasu Mawatari, Shigeru Kanazawa, Ryuzo Iga, and Hiroyuki Ishii
NTT Photonics Laboratories, NTT Corporation, 3-1 Morinosato Wakamiya, Atsugi, Kanagawa, 243-0198 Japan e-mail: yamada.eiichi@lab.ntt.co.jp

Abstract: We propose a novel 16QAM signal generation method using a single Mach-Zehnder modulator. We successfully demonstrate 50 Gbit/s 16QAM signal generation with a dual-drive npin InP Mach-Zehnder modulator using amplitude control by electro-absorption. 2011 Optical Society of America OCIS codes: (250.4110) Modulators, (060.5060) Phase modulation 1. Introduction Recently there has been a great interest in the use of multilevel modulation formats to improve the spectral efficiency of optical communication systems. Dual-polarization quaternary phase-shift keying (DP-QPSK) using digital coherent technology has been intensively investigated for 100 Gbit/s transmission [1]. 16 quadrature amplitude modulation (16QAM) is one of the most promising candidates for a post 100-Gbit/s system because it provides twice the spectral efficiency of QPSK. An optical IQ modulator and 4-level electrical signals generated by digital-to-analog converters (DACs) were combined to generate optical 16QAM signals [2,3]. An integrated dual parallel IQ modulator was also used to generate the 16QAM signals with planar lightwave circuits - LiNbO3 (PLC-LN) technology [4,5]. However, the IQ modulator consisted of two Mach Zehnder modulators (MZMs) and the dual parallel IQ modulator consisted of four MZMs. A simple configuration and a small modulator are required for next-generation compact and cost-effective transmitters. For QPSK signal generation, a simple scheme has been proposed that uses a single dual-drive MZM (DD-MZM) with two independent phase modulators [6]. We have already demonstrated 112 Gbit/s DP-QPSK signal generation using an InP DD-MZM, and semiconductor technology is also expected to allow further reduction of the modulator/transmitter size [7]. Although 16QAM signals have been generated using a DD-MZM, arbitrary waveform signals generated using a look-up table and a high-resolution DAC were needed [8]. In this work, we propose novel a 16QAM signal generation method using a single DD-MZM and 4-level electrical signals. This method requires the amplitude ratio of two QPSK signals to be adjusted. We achieved this using the electro-absorption characteristics of an InP semiconductor, and have successfully demonstrated 50-Gbit/s (12.5 Gbaud x 4 bit) 16QAM signal generation. 2. Novel 16 QAM Modulation Method We propose a novel 16QAM modulation method. Figure 1 shows the principle of the method. When a 4-level electrical (4-amplitude shift keying; 4ASK) signal at peak-to-peak voltages of 3/2 V was applied to a simple phase modulator, a QPSK signal was obtained. Similarly, QPSK modulation was obtained when a 4ASK signal of 3/2 V was applied to the upper or lower arm of an MZM. When the optical signal amplitude of one arm was reduced by
Q

Large QPSK 4ASK electrical signal


I

Large QPSK

Small QPSK
1 2

Dual Drive MZM


Q I

Two QPSK signals were synthesized. Small Q 6dB QPSK attenuation

Fig. 1. Principle of novel 16QAM modulation using dual drive of 4ASK signal.

OSA/OFC/NFOEC 2011

OMU1.pdf OMU1.pdf

5 Absorption Loss(dB) 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 0 5 10 15 Bias Voltage(V)

-6dB

VRF1 VRF2 VDC1 VDC2 Control electrodes for High-speed phase modulation electrodes adjusting phase difference & amplitude (a)

(b)

Fig. 2. Schematic device structure and electro-absorption characteristics of control electrode.

half (6 dB in power), a half amplitude QPSK signal was generated. Therefore, when large and small QPSK signals were synthesized with an output multimode interference (MMI) coupler, a 16QAM signal was obtained. 3. Device Structure We have been developing npin InP MZM modulators of whose waveguides have an npin high-mesa structure. The core layer consists of InGaAlAs/InAlAs MQWs (PL = 1400 nm). The npin structure allows us to use a longer phase-shifting section because it has lower electrical and optical losses than a pin structure when an electrode is formed on it. This means the driving voltage is reduced. Figure 2(a) is a schematic diagram of the fabricated npin InP MZM chip. The MZM chip has a pair of traveling-wave electrodes for high-speed phase modulation, and a separate pair of control electrodes for adjusting the phase difference and amplitude. The phase modulation and control electrodes are 2.5 and 1.1 mm long, respectively. The chip size is 5.6 mm x 0.8 mm. Figure 2(b) shows the electro-absorption characteristics of the control electrodes at a signal wavelength of 1530 nm. While the applied voltage is less than about 7 V, the transmitted amplitude remains the same and only a phase shift occurs. When the applied voltage is much larger, the transmitted amplitude is decreased due to electro-absorption. In this way, we can adjust both the phase difference between the two arms and the optical signal amplitude of an arm using control electrodes. For 16QAM signal generation, one control electrode is used to adjust the QPSK signal amplitude to half that of the other arm. The other control electrode is used to adjust the synthesizing angle of the two QPSK signals. As both amplitude and angle are adjusted, the 16QAM signal was generated using a single MZM. When a differential signal was applied to the modulation electrodes around the operating points by adjusting the phase difference of the two arms at a low applied voltage in a push-pull driving configuration, NRZ or DPSK modulation was realized with the same device. 4. Experiments Figure 3 shows the experimental setup for 16QAM signal generation, which includes a homodyne digital coherent receiver. An external cavity laser with a linewidth of less than 100 kHz was utilized as an optical source. The laser light was divided with a polarization maintained 3 dB coupler. One part was injected into a 90-degree optical hybrid as a local oscillator and the other was coupled to an MZM. Two 12.5-Gbit/s signals with a PRBS of 211-1 from a 4ch pulse pattern generator were added by a power combiner and thus generating two 4ASK signals at 12.5 Gbaud. These signals whose amplitudes were about 4 Vpp were used to drive each arm of the DD-MZM. The generated large
12.5 Gbit/s 4ch PPG
Amplitue 2 QPSK1 1 Power Combiner QPSK2 P.C. Sig.

ECL
Linewidth <100kHz

90deg. hybrid Vamp. Vang.


L.O.

DSO

Fig. 3 Experimental setup

OSA/OFC/NFOEC 2011

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Constellation 1 1 0.5 0 -0.5 -1 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 In-Phase 1 -1

Constellation

Ch.1
Quadrature

0 -0.5 -1

Ch.2
20ps/div (a)

Quadrature

0.5

-0.5

0 0.5 In-Phase

QPSK1

(b)

QPSK2

Fig. 4 (a) Input 4ASK electrical signal waveforms (b) Constellations of generated QPSK signals
Constellation 1 0.5 0 -0.5 -1 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 In-Phase 1 1 0.5 Quadrature 0 -0.5 -1 -1
Optical Power (10dB/div)

Constellation

Quadrature

25GHz

195.89 195.91 195.93 195.95 195.97 195.99 Frequency (T Hz)

-0.5

0 0.5 In-Phase

(a)

(b)

(c)

Fig. 5 (a) 25-Gbit/s 16QAM constellation (b) 50-Gbit/s 16QAM constellation and (c) its spectrum.

QPSK and small QPSK signals were synthesized to produce a 16QAM signal. The 16QAM signal was injected into the 90-degree optical hybrid as a received signal after the polarization had been adjusted. The beat signals between the local and received signals were sampled at 50 GS/s using a digital storage oscilloscope (DSO) after detection by balanced PDs and electrical amplification. Constellations were observed by converting the obtained digital data without equalization. Figure 4(a) shows the 4ASK electrical signal waveforms generated by the power combiner. We obtained 4-level signals. Figure 4(b) shows each QPSK signal constellation when only a single arm was driven by a 4ASK signal and the optical power of the other arms was highly absorbed. Figure 5 (a) shows 25-Gbit/s 16QAM modulation results. As seen, a clear 16QAM signal was generated. A 50-Gbit/s 16QAM signal was also generated as shown in Fig. 5(b). Figure 5(c) shows the signal spectrum. The spectral width of the main lobe was 25 GHz and a narrow signal spectrum was observed. With dual polarization a 100-Gbit/s signal can be generated in this scheme at the same spectral width. 5. Conclusion We proposed a novel 16QAM signal generation method employing the dual drive modulation of a single MZM. We utilized the electro-absorption characteristics of an InP semiconductor to adjust the QPSK amplitude. 50-Gbit/s (12.5 Gbaud x 4 bit) 16QAM signal generation was successfully demonstrated. We believe this method to be suitable for use with compact, high-speed optical transmitters. Acknowledgment: The authors would like to thank H. Oohashi for fruitful discussions. Thanks are also due to T. Enoki for his encouragement. 6. References
[1] [2] [3] [4] C. S. R. Fludger et al., OFC2007, PDP22 (2007). A.H. Gnauck, et al., OFC2009, PDPB8 (2009). S. Yamanaka et al., EOCO2010, We.8.C.1 (2010). T. Sakamoto et al., ECOC2007, PDS2.8 (2007). [5] [6] [7] [8] Kobayashi et al., OFC2010, OTuD1 (2010). K-P. Ho, et al., J. Lightwave Technol. 23, 2, pp,764-769 (2005). Y. Shibata, et al., ECOC2010, Mo.2.F.2 (2010). S. Kametani, et al., OFC2009, OThN4 (2009).