An 80 GSPS photonic ADC system is demonstrated, using broadband mode-locked lasers (MLL) and dispersive fibre to form a continuous waveform with time-wavelength mapping, and array waveguide gratings (AWG) to channelise. Tests are carried out for RF signals up to 10 GHz.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper reviews over 30 years of work on photonic analog-to-digital converters. The review is limited to systems in which the input is a radio-frequency (RF) signal in the electronic domain and the output is a digital version of that signal also in the electronic domain, and thus the review excludes photonic systems directed towards digitizing images or optical communication signals. The state of the art in electronic ADCs, basic properties of ADCs and properties of analog optical links, which are found in many photonic ADCs, are reviewed as background information for understanding photonic ADCs. Then four classes of photonic ADCs are reviewed: 1) photonic assisted ADC in which a photonic device is added to an electronic ADC to improve performance, 2) photonic sampling and electronic quantizing ADC, 3) electronic sampling and photonic quantizing ADC, and 4) photonic sampling and quantizing ADC. It is noted, however, that all 4 classes of "photonic ADC" require some electronic sampling and quantization. After reviewing all known photonic ADCs in the four classes, the review concludes with a discussion of the potential for photonic ADCs in the future.
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