We present a theoretical model of a multi-input arrayed waveguide grating (AWG) based on Fourier optics and apply the model to the design of a flattened passband response. This modeling makes it possible to systematically analyze spectral performance and to clarify the physical mechanisms of the multi-input AWG. The model suggested that the width of an input/output mode-field function and the number of waveguides in the array are important factors to flatten the response. We also developed a model for a novel AWG employing cascaded Mach–Zehnder interferometers connected to the AWG input ports and numerically analyzed its optical performance to achieve low-loss, low-crosstalk, and flat-passband response. We demonstrated the usability of this model through investigations of filter performance. We also compared the filter spectrum given by this model with that given by simulation using the beam propagation method.
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