Abstract

Until the early 2000's, the avalanche photodiode (APD) was widely deployed in high-performance optical receivers that operated up to 10 Gb/s. In subsequent years, the use of APDs for high-capacity systems declined as a result of their limited gain bandwidth, the transition to coherent detection, and the development of high-efficiency modulation techniques. Recently, the rapid growth of optical-fiber communications systems that utilize baud rates up to 25 Gb/s represented by a 100-Gb/s Ethernet has led to a resurgence of research on APDs and the development of low-noise APDs with enhanced gain bandwidth. This paper presents a brief review of APD fundamentals and describes some of the recent advances.

© 2015 IEEE

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