The Modal Effect of VCSELs on Transmitting Data Rate over Distance in OM4 Fiber

Hsiao Lun Wang, Junyi Qiu, Xin Yu, Wenning Fu, Milton Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effective modal bandwidth (EMB) limit for the multi-mode (MM) VCSEL on transmitting data rate over distance in OM4 fiber is commonly referenced to be within 4700 MHz∗km. However, this limit may not be valid for the VCSELs with reduced-mode (RM) or single-mode (SM) emission spectrum for data transmission. In this work, we investigate the EMB limit of OM4 fiber through characterizing three types of 850 nm oxide-VCSELs, namely, MM, RM and SM. Each type of VCSEL is tested to the highest error-free NRZ data rate over transmitting distance up to 1 km. The MM VCSEL demonstrates 50 Gb/s (100 m) and 26 Gb/s (300 m) that are within EMB limit. In contrast, the RM and SM VCSELs demonstrate speed distance product beyond the OM4 EMB limit. The SM VCSEL delivers record speed-distance of 44 Gb/s (500 m), and 36 Gb/s (1 km) at 25 °C without the use of equalization. These results suggest the SM VCSEL-based MMF link can transmit much higher data rate over extended distance up to 2 km in data centers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9187643
JournalIEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • VCSELs
  • microwave photonics
  • optical fiber communication
  • optical interconnects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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