Flexible Data Rate Allocation Using Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access (NOMA) in a Mode Division Multiplexing (MDM) Optical Power Splitter for System-on-Chip Networks

Yuan Zeng Lin, Chi Wai Chow*, Tien Wei Yu, Yin He Jian, Tun Yao Hung, Jian Wen Chen, Chien Hung Yeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We put forward and demonstrate a silicon photonics (SiPh)-based mode division multiplexed (MDM) optical power splitter that supports transverse-electric (TE) single-mode, dual-mode, and triple-mode (i.e., TE0, TE1, and TE2). An optical power splitter is needed for optical signal distribution and routing in optical interconnects. However, a traditional optical splitter only divides the power of the input optical signal. This means the same data information is received at all the output ports of the optical splitter. The powers at different output ports may change depending on the splitting ratio of the optical splitter. The main contributions of our proposed optical splitter are: (i) Different data information is received at different output ports of the optical splitter via the utilization of NOMA. By adjusting the power ratios of different channels in the digital domain (i.e., via software control) at the Tx, different channel data information can be received at different output ports of the splitter. It can increase the flexibility of optical signal distribution and routing. (ii) Besides, the proposed optical splitter can support the fundamental TE0 mode and the higher modes TE1, TE2, etc. Supporting mode-division multiplexing and multi-mode operation are important for future optical interconnects since the number of port counts is limited by the chip size. This can significantly increase the capacity besides wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) and spatial division multiplexing (SDM). The integrated SiPh MDM optical power splitter consists of a mode up-conversion section implemented by asymmetric directional couplers (ADCs) and a Y-branch structure for MDM power distribution. Here, we also propose and discuss the use of the Genetic algorithm (GA) for the MDM optical power splitter parameter optimization. Finally, to provide adjustable data rates at different output ports after the MDM optical power splitter, non-orthogonal multiple access—orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (NOMA-OFDM) is also employed. Experimental results validate that, in three modes (TE0, TE1, and TE2), user-1 and user-2 achieve data rates of (user-1: greater than 22 Gbit/s; user-2: greater than 12 Gbit/s) and (user-1: greater than 12 Gbit/s; user-2: 24 Gbit/s), respectively, at power-ratio (PR) = 2.0 or 3.0. Each channel meets the hard-decision forward-error-correction (HD-FEC, i.e., BER = 3.8 × 10−3) threshold. The proposed method allows flexible data rate allocation for multiple users for optical interconnects and system-on-chip networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7259
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • genetic algorithm (GA)
  • mode division multiplexing (MDM)
  • non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA)
  • optical interconnect
  • optical power splitter
  • orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM)
  • silicon photonics (SiPh)


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