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Driver circuits are designed and tested in CMOS for use with normal-incidence multiple-quantum-well (MQW) optical modulators that are flip-chip bonded in large numbers to VLSI. These circuits provide higher drive voltages than the standard CMOS supply, and thereby ease some of the pressures on the design and operation of the MQW modulator as CMOS supply voltages are reduced. Two circuits use positive feedback to drive an MQW device through voltages exceeding the available logic voltage while another novel circuit stacks inverters and provides double the supply voltage to drive the modulator. Operation to 1 Gb/s is demonstrated. Circuits are normally off, consistent with the demands of a low-dissipation smart-pixel technology.
Date of Publication: June 1997