Abstract

The effect of transmitter and receiver array configurations on the performance of free-space optical interconnects (FSOIs) was investigated. Experimentally measured, spectrally resolved, near-field images of vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) transverse modes were used as extended sources in our simulation model and combined with laser relative intensity noise and the receiver noise to determine the optimal array geometry. Our results demonstrate the importance of stray-light cross talk in both square and hexagonal configurations. By changing the array lattice geometry from square to hexagonal, we obtained an overall optical signal-to-noise ratio improvement of 3  dB. We demonstrated that the optical signal-to-noise ratio is optimal for the hexagonal channel arrangement regardless of the transverse mode structure of the VCSEL beam. We also determined the VCSEL drive current required for the best performance of the FSOI system.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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