A 15-Gb/s 2.4-V optical receiver using a Ge-on-SOI photodiode and a CMOS IC

C. L. Schow, L. Schares, S. J. Koester, G. Dehlinger, R. John, F. E. Doany

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46 Scopus citations


We report the fastest (15 Gb/s) and lowest voltage (2.4V) all-silicon-based optical receiver to date. The receiver consists of a lateral, interdigitated, germanium-on-silicon-on-insulator (Ge-on-SOI) photodiode wire-bonded to a 0.13-μm complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) receiver integrated circuit (IC). The photodiode has an external quantum efficiency of 52% at λ = 850 nm and a dark current of 10 nA at - 2 V. The small-signal transimpedance of the receiver is 91-dB Ω and the bandwidth is 6.6 GHz. At a bit-error rate of 10-12 and λ = 850 nm the receiver exhibits sensitivities of - 11.0, - 9.6, and - 7.4 dBm at 12.5, 14, and 15 Gb/s, respectively. The receiver operates error-free at rates up to 10 Gb/s with an IC supply voltage as low as 1.5 V and with a photodiode bias as low as 0.5 V. The power consumption is 3 to 7 mW/Gb/s. The Ge-on-SOI photodiode is well suited for integration with CMOS processing, raising the possibility of producing high-performance, low-voltage, monolithically integrated receivers based on this technology in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1981-1983
Number of pages3
JournalIEEE Photonics Technology Letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received May 18, 2006. This work was supported in part by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under contract MDA972-03-3-0004. The authors are with Watson Research Center, IBM, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598 USA (e-mail: cschow@us.ibm.com). Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/LPT.2006.880770


  • Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) analog integrated circuits
  • Germanium (Ge)
  • Optical receivers
  • Photodiodes
  • Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology


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