A 120-Gb/s optical link (12 channels at 10 Gb/s/ch for both a transmitter and a receiver) has been demonstrated. The link operated at a bit-error rate of less than 10^-12 with all channels operating and with a total fiber length of 316 m, which comprises 300 m of next-generation (OM-3) multimode fiber (MMF) plus 16 m of standard-grade MMF. This is the first time that a parallel link with this bandwidth at this per-channel rate has ever been demonstrated. For the transmitter, an SiGe laser driver was combined with a GaAs vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) array. For the receiver, the signal from a GaAs photodiode array was amplified by a 12-channel SiGe receiver integrated circuit. Key to the demonstration were several custom testing tools, most notably a 12-channel pattern generator. The package is very similar to the commercial parallel modules that are available today, but the per-channel bit rate is three times higher than that for the commercial modules. The new modules demonstrate the possibility of extending the parallel-optical module technology that is available today into a distance-bandwidth product regime that is unattainable for copper cables.
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