Abstract

We present results from a system that shows that multimode fibers can be used for both the input and the output of a free-space optical system. The system consists of plastic microlenses integrated with plastic optomechanical components that are suitable for low-cost fabrication and assembly. Such a system opens up opportunities to construct large repeaters and switches for multigigabit ethernet applications by integration with two-dimensional arrays of optoelectronic devices. We demonstrate a 2.5-Gbit/s transmission rate by using commercial vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers coupled to 62.5-µm core fibers. We consider the design constraints and the capabilities of custom optical modules suitable for mass production.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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