Table of Contents
Advances in Optical Technologies
Volume 2012, Article ID 729731, 8 pages
Review Article

Single-Fiber Bidirectional Optical Data Links with Monolithic Transceiver Chips

Institute of Optoelectronics, Ulm University, Albert-Einstein-Allee 45, 89081 Ulm, Germany

Received 18 August 2011; Accepted 23 September 2011

Academic Editor: Krassimir Panajotov

Copyright © 2012 Alexander Kern et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We report the monolithic integration, fabrication, and electrooptical properties of AlGaAs-GaAs-based transceiver (TRx) chips for 850 nm wavelength optical links with data rates of multiple Gbit/s. Using a single butt-coupled multimode fiber (MMF), low-cost bidirectional communication in half- and even full-duplex mode is demonstrated. Two design concepts are presented, based on a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) and a monolithically integrated p-doped-intrinsic-n-doped (PIN) or metal-semiconductor-metal (MSM) photodetector. Whereas the VCSEL-PIN photodiode (PD) chips are used for high-speed bidirectional data transmission over 62.5 and 50 μm core diameter MMFs, MSM TRx chips are employed for 100 or 200 μm large-area fibers. Such a monolithic transceiver design based on a well-established material system and avoiding the use of external fiber coupling optics is well suited for inexpensive and compact optical interconnects over distances of a few hundred meters. Standard MMF networks can thus be upgraded using high-speed VCSEL-PIN transceiver chips which are capable to handle data rates of up to 10 Gbit/s.