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Optical analog-to-digital converter

United States Patent

July 21, 2009
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An optical analog-to-digital converter (ADC) is disclosed which converts an input optical analog signal to an output optical digital signal at a sampling rate defined by a sampling optical signal. Each bit of the digital representation is separately determined using an optical waveguide interferometer and an optical thresholding element. The interferometer uses the optical analog signal and the sampling optical signal to generate a sinusoidally-varying output signal using cross-phase-modulation (XPM) or a photocurrent generated from the optical analog signal. The sinusoidally-varying output signal is then digitized by the thresholding element, which includes a saturable absorber or at least one semiconductor optical amplifier, to form the optical digital signal which can be output either in parallel or serially.
Vawter; G. Allen (Corrales, NM), Raring; James (Goleta, CA), Skogen; Erik J. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
12/ 039,931
February 29, 2008
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.