Physical Layer lab

The Physical Layer lab is a state-of-the-art test and measurement environment for the characterization of high-speed, high-frequency and mixed-signal electronic circuits and (sub-)systems for wireless, wired and fiber-optic communication or instrumentation.

The equipment is organized in a faradized lab of 160 m2. Anti-vibration tables, probes positioners ad mm-wave probes are available for the testing of individual chips and devices.

Bit-error-rate (BER) measurements can be done directly up to 50Gb/s using standard equipment and up to 100Gb/s using in-house developed MUX/DEMUX chips. A 4-channel 65GS/s Arbitrary Waveform Generator and a 4-channel 92GS/s Arbitrary Waveform Generator are available to create complex, multi-level modulation formats. A 63GHz real-time oscilloscope is available for the acquisition and analysis of complex waveforms, including digital signal processing and bit-error-rate analysis in Matlab. A 70GHz sampling oscilloscope is available with remote sampling heads, for high-resolution time domain measurements with very low jitter. Frequency domain characterization of active and passive devices is available with a non-linear network analyzer up to 67GHz for 4-port devices. Besides the purely electrical equipment, an optical spectrum analyzer, covering wavelengths between 0.6 and 1.75 um, and tunable lasers for the O-, C- and L-band are available. Complex system experiments can be performed using a wire range of optical transmitter/receiver devices, driver amplifiers, tunable filters, optical amplifiers, dispersion emulation etc.


  • STREAMS – Silicon Photonics Transceiver and Routing technologies for High-End Multi-Socket Server Blades with Tb/s Throughput interconnect & interfaces – EU H2020
  • TERABOARD – High bandwidth density and scalable optically interconnected Terabit/s Board – EU H2020
  • OPTIMA – Towards Demonstration of Photonic Payload For Telecom Satellites – EU H2020
  • WIPE – Wafer scale Integration of Photonics and Electronics – EU H2020
  • Flex5Gware – Flexible and efficient hardware/software platforms for 5G network elements and devices – EU H2020
  • SPIRIT – Software‐defined energy‐efficient photonic transceivers introducing intelligence and dynamicity in terabit superchannels for flexible optical networks – EU FP7
  • PHOXTROT – Photonics for High-Performance, Low-Cost & Low-Energy Data Centers, High Performance Computing Systems: Terabit/s Optical Interconnect Technologies for On-Board, Board-to-Board, Rack-to-Rack Data Links – EU FP7
  • Mirage – MultI-coRe, multi-level, WDM-enAbled embedded optical enGine for TErabit board-to-board and rack-to-rack parallel optics – EU FP7
  • Discus -The DIStributed Core for unlimited bandwidth supply for all Users and Services – EU FP7

Key publications

  • J. Verbist et al, “First Real-Time 100-Gb/s NRZ-OOK Transmission over 2 km with a Silicon Photonic Electro-Absorption Modulator”, Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC), Mar. 19 – 23, 2017, Los Angeles. USA, post-deadline paper Th5C.4.
  • J. Verbist et al, “A 40-GBd QPSK/16-QAM Integrated Silicon Coherent Receiver”, IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, vol. 28, no. 19, pp. 2070-2073, Oct.2016.
  • M. Vanhoecke et al, “Segmented Optical Transmitter comprising a CMOS Driver Array and an InP IQ-MZM for Advanced Modulation Formats”, Journal of Lightwave Technology, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 862-867, Feb. 15, 2017.
  • B. Moeneclaey et al, “A 64 Gb/s PAM-4 Transimpedance Amplifier for Optical Links”, Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC), Mar. 19 – 23, 2017, Los Angeles, USA, paper Tu2D.3.


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