100-Gb/s 3-m Dual-Band PAM-4 Dielectric Waveguide Link with 1.9 pJ/bit/m Efficiency in 28-nm CMOS

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Abstract: This work presents a plastic fiber link in 28-nm CMOS, operating in two adjacent bands centered on 117.5 and 152.5 GHz. Each band supports multi-level (PAM-4) intensity-modulated signaling, which can be detected non-coherently, obviating the need for carrier synchronization. Data rates up to 100 Gb/s are reported for fiber lengths up to 3 m and links up to 11 m are demonstrated at a reduced data rate. A rectification-based detector is proposed to support linear non-coherent demodulation.