Recent trends in optical fiber communication system experimentation have been toward multigigahertz channel bandwidth. This has placed increased emphasis on receiver performance with a number of designs reported (e.g., Ref. 1). Particular requirements include a very wide bandwidth, high sensitivity, and large dynamic range for use with unbounded line codes. The transimpedance configuration satisfies these conditions, especially when combined with germanium or III–V quaternary avalanche photodiodes.2 Until recently, multigigahertz bandwidth optical receivers have been constructed with conventional GaAs MESFETs. These have been incorporated in optimized microwave hybrid circuit designs together with chip photodetectors.
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