Abstract

Migrating toward higher frequencies and densification of the communication cells are two key enablers for increased wireless data rates. To make these trends economically viable, centralized architectures based on radio-over-fiber (RoF) are explored. This article describes the design of a photoreceiver that can be applied at the remote radio head in a 28 GHz analog RoF link. The devised photoreceiver comprises a Ge-on-Si photodetector and co-designed GaAs low noise amplifier offering 24 dB gain, corresponding to 224 V/W external conversion gain, over a 3-dB bandwidth between 23.5 and 31.5 GHz. The associated noise figure is 2.1 dB and an output referred third order intercept point up to 26.5 dBm can be obtained with a power consumption of 303 mW. Two possible applications are demonstrated in this article. First, the photoreceiver is tested in a 5G New Radio environment resulting in rms-EVM values below 2.46/3.47% for 100/400-MBaud 16-QAM transmission over the 24.25–29.5 GHz band. Secondly, very high data rates can also be supported, demonstrated by a 36 Gb/s link with an rms-EVM of 5.2%.

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