By changing the transverse-mode spectral linewidth of vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) at 850 nm, the directly encoded four-level pulse amplitude modulation data transmission performance over 100-m-long OM4 multimode fiber (MMF) are demonstrated and compared. The multi-mode VCSEL chip with the largest aperture of 11μm reveals the widest spectral linewidth and the highest optical power, but provides the smallest modulation bandwidth to support only 44- and 28-Gb/s data rates for back-to-back (BtB) and 100-m OM4 MMF transmission cases, respectively. By shrinking the aperture size to reduce transverse-mode number, the few-mode VCSEL with the strongest throughput power enables a BtB transmission capacity as high as 52 Gb/s. However, its modal dispersion induced after OM4 MMF transmission inevitably degrade the data rate to 32 Gb/s. In contrast, the single-mode VCSEL with the smallest aperture of 3μm reveals the highest modulation bandwidth and negligible modal dispersion to show competitive BtB transmission capacity with that of the few-mode VCSEL. In particular, the single-mode VCSEL successfully achieves a data rate of 34 Gb/s with a power penalty as low as 1.4 dB, after 100-m OM4 MMF transmission.
- 4-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM-4)
- Data center
- vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL)