Abstract

A semiconductor laser with distributed feedback from a fiber Bragg grating (FBG) is investigated for random bit generation (RBG). The feedback perturbs the laser to emit chaotically with the intensity being sampled periodically. The samples are then converted into random bits by a simple postprocessing of self-differencing and selecting bits. Unlike a conventional mirror that provides localized feedback, the FBG provides distributed feedback which effectively suppresses the information of the round-trip feedback delay time. Randomness is ensured even when the sampling period is commensurate with the feedback delay between the laser and the grating. Consequently, in RBG, the FBG feedback enables continuous tuning of the output bit rate, reduces the minimum sampling period, and increases the number of bits selected per sample. RBG is experimentally investigated at a sampling period continuously tunable from over 16 ns down to 50 ps, while the feedback delay is fixed at 7.7 ns. By selecting 5 least-significant bits per sample, output bit rates from 0.3 to 100 Gbps are achieved with randomness examined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology test suite.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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