Abstract

We investigate the performance of free-space optical interconnection systems at the technology level. Specifically, three optical transmitter technologies, lead-lanthanum-zirconate-titanate and multiple-quantum-well modulators and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, are evaluated. System performance is measured in terms of the achievable areal data throughput and the energy required per transmitted bit. It is shown that lead-lanthanum-zirconate-titanate modulator and vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser technologies are well suited for applications in which a large fan-out per transmitter is required but the total number of transmitters is relatively small. Multiple-quantum-well modulators, however, are good candidates for applications in which many transmitters with a limited fan-out are needed.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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