Abstract

We introduce an accurate and efficient approach to compute the transmission bit-error ratio (BER) of single-channel silicon photonic interconnects when the optical signal consists of arbitrarily shaped optical pulses. The silicon photonic systems investigated in this study contain an optical transmitter, a silicon optical interconnect, which can be either a strip single-mode silicon photonic waveguide (Si-PhW) or a silicon photonic crystal (PhC) waveguide (Si-PhCW), and a direct-detection receiver. The input signal consists of a superposition of a train of Gaussian pulses and white noise, its propagation in the silicon waveguide being described by a rigorous theoretical model based on a modified nonlinear Schrödinger equation, which captures all relevant linear and nonlinear optical effects. The statistical properties of the output signal and the corresponding BER were determined using the Fourier series Karhunen–Loève expansion method. Our analysis reveals that in the case of Si-PhWs the pulse width is the parameter that most strongly influences the BER, whereas for Si-PhCWs the main factor affecting BER is the pulse group velocity. Finally, we show that similar values of BER are achieved in Si-PhCWs with length of about 2 orders of magnitude smaller than that of Si-PhWs, a further reduction of the silicon interconnect footprint being possible if the Si-PhCW is operated in the slow-light regime.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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