In this paper, we study the use of silicon microring modulators in an integrated mode-division multiplexing (MDM) network for short-reach interconnects using discrete multitone (DMT) modulation. A fiber grating coupler array is used as a high-speed optical interface between the on-chip mode channels and off-chip multicore fiber (MCF). The whole link has a crosstalk level lower than –23.1 dB. The MDM network can work without the crosstalk compensation of digital signal processing. We present experimental results of the linearity of the silicon microring modulator in terms of spurious-free dynamic range (SFDR). The third-order intermodulation distortion SFDR is 93.4 dB/Hz2/3 at 20 GHz. We can improve system performance by using adaptive nonlinear equalizer at the DMT receiver to mitigate transmitter and transmission impairments. An aggregate bitrate above 312 Gb/s is achieved with a bit error ratio of 3.8 × 10−3. With the addition of nonlinear equalizer, the line rates of the MDM network can be further increased to about 330 Gb/s. The experimental results demonstrate the feasibility of single wavelength DMT transmission in MDM network with MCF.
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