On-chip mode-division multiplexing switch

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Optica, Volume 2, Issue 6, p.530-535 (2015)


Integrated optics devices, Optical switching devices


Leveraging the spatial modes of multimode waveguides using mode-division multiplexing on an integrated photonic chip allows unprecedented scaling of bandwidth density for on-chip communication. Switching channels between waveguides is critical for future scalable optical networks, but its implementation in multimode waveguides must address how to simultaneously control modes with vastly different optical properties. Here we present a platform for switching signals between multimode waveguides based on individually processing the spatial mode channels using single-mode elements. Using this wavelength-division multiplexing-compatible platform, we demonstrate a 1×2 multimode switch for a silicon chip that routes four data channels with low (<−16.8  dB) crosstalk. We show bit-error rates below 10−9 and power penalties below 1.4 dB on all channels while routing 10 Gb/s data when each channel is input and routed separately. The switch exhibits an additional power penalty of less than 2.4 dB when all four channels are simultaneously routed. These results enable individual processing of multimode signals and high-bandwidth, flexible optical networks.

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