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A Millimeter-Wave Generation Scheme

Based on Frequency Octupling Using

LiNbO3 Mach–Zehnder Modulator

P. K. Anand Prem & Arvind Chakrapani

National Academy Science Letters

ISSN 0250-541X
Volume 42
Number 5

Natl. Acad. Sci. Lett. (2019) 42:401-406

DOI 10.1007/s40009-018-0766-3

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Author's personal copy
Natl. Acad. Sci. Lett. (September–October 2019) 42(5):401–406


A Millimeter-Wave Generation Scheme Based on Frequency

Octupling Using LiNbO3 Mach–Zehnder Modulator
P. K. Anand Prem1 • Arvind Chakrapani1

Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 24 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 December 2018 / Published online: 5 February 2019
 The National Academy of Sciences, India 2019

Abstract The proposed frequency octupling method Introduction

demonstrates the generation of millimeter-wave (mmw)
signal using LiNbO3 Mach–Zehnder modulator based on The never-ending demand for broadband data transmission
frequency octupling. The optical carrier suppression mod- has made the researchers to explore different communica-
ulation scheme is employed to produce a mmw signal of tion methods including radio frequency (RF) communica-
80 GHz. The advantage of this scheme is that the fre- tion and optical fiber communication. Since optical
quency can be generated by using single LiNbO3 intensity communication is free of interference and cross talk, it is
modulator by adjusting the bias voltage and modulation employed for high-speed data transmission. In the form of
voltage. When compared to the other experiments carried optical waves, the signals are transmitted through the
out for the generation of mmw, this scheme has better optical fiber for a long distance to service the need for
performance in terms of bit error rate and cost-effective- broadband data transmission. Due to the hackneyed usage
ness. The data rate of 3 GB/s has been transmitted over of battery-powered devices, the need for large bandwidth is
standard single-mode fiber for a distance of 50 km, and the observed in the wireless and wired communication for
result includes optical spectrum, electrical spectrum, eye applications like high-definition (HD) video conferencing
diagram and Q-factor in order to ensure the robustness of and multimedia services [1]. When compared to the mmw
generated mmw signal. signal generation in electrical domain, the optical fiber has
more advantages like better security and less transmission
Keywords Lithium niobate Mach–Zehnder modulator  loss. The widely used medium for the transmission of
Optical carrier suppression  Optical spectrum  mmw is an optical fiber rather than a coaxial cable due to
Bandpass filter  Millimeter-wave generation  its ability to avoid interference and cross talk [2, 3]. The
Frequency octupling transmission of mmw through an optical fiber has the
advantages like reduced dispersion and fading effect, and
also it is possible to develop a low-cost circuit with better
performance [4]. Moreover, anyone can use an optical fiber
without any special training due to its shock resistance
property. The increase in capacity and bandwidth is pro-
vided by radio-over-fiber (RoF) technique in order to cater
the never-ending demand for high-speed internet connec-
tivity [5, 6]. The generation of millimeter-wave signals by
& Arvind Chakrapani optical means is a preferred method due to the cost
involved and the quality of the generated signal in RoF
P. K. Anand Prem system. The use of microwave range for the large data
transmission leads to congestion problem which increases
Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, the time delay in microwave range [7]. In this scenario, the
Karpagam College of Engineering, Coimbatore 641032, India use of mmw plays an important role to overcome the

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402 P. K. Anand Prem, A. Chakrapani

limitations of microwave range which requires wide Principle of Millimeter-Wave Generation

bandwidth [8]. The millimeter wave has a frequency range
of 30–300 GHz which supports high bandwidth for The experimental setup for the generation of optical mmw
broadband data transmission. When the millimeter waves based on frequency octupling is given in Fig. 1. In the
are transmitted through the air as the medium, oxygen central station (CS), continuous wave laser will act as a
present in the air will absorb the wave due to which the source signal which has a frequency of 193.1 THz, and a
fading effect dominates [9]. Hence, the transmission of linewidth of 10 MHz to carry the pseudo-random bit
millimeter wave through an optical fiber is a viable method sequence (data, 3 GB/s) through the optical fiber. The
to avoid fading effect and thus the efficiency is increased carrier signal and the data signal are mixed using mixer and
for long-distance transmission [10]. In this article, the data given to the LiNbO3 MZM. By providing proper modula-
are transmitted at the rate of 3 Gb/s through a single-mode tion and bias voltage, the optical carrier suppression
optical fiber for distance of 50 km using an external modulation takes place to produce a carrier suppressed
modulator which multiplies the tupling frequency in the wave signal at the modulator output.
presence of less bias voltage. Thus double-sideband suppression of wave signal and
even-order optical sidebands are suppressed in the CS. The
suppressed carrier signal is transmitted through the single-
Related Work mode optical fiber for a 50-km distance. In the base station
(BS), a photodiode is used for converting an optical signal
Since the mmw signal generation in optical domain has into an electrical signal and visualizers are employed to
created avenues for providing high-speed data transfer, a analyze the quality of the mmw generated. In cases where
significant amount of research activities has been carried the transmission distance through a fiber is greater than
out by the researchers in the recent past. The suggested 50 km, a bandpass filter is required to drive the wave to the
works by the researchers in the field of mmw signal gen- antenna.
eration are presented in this section. A frequency sextu-
pling method employs two cascaded intensity modulators Mathematical Analysis
and optical carrier suppression method to produce a mmw
signal [11, 12], while sextupling is achieved by using two In this section, the generation of mmw based on frequency
parallel MZM by keeping the extinction ratio as 26 dB. It octupling is mathematically analyzed. The data rate up to
is inherent that in optical domain, signal generation by 3 GB/s is given to the MZM with the carrier signal of
multiplying the frequency by an integer factor has paved frequency xc by fixing the bias voltage and modulation
way for further advancement in the field of mmw genera- voltage to 13 V for suppressing the even-order optical
tion [13]. A frequency octupling method to generate mmw sideband and the carrier signal.
using nested MZM and cascaded MZM is presented The electric field at the MZM output produces a con-
[14, 15]. Based on the review performed, this article pro- structive amplitude-modulated signal which is a superpo-
poses a mmw generation based on frequency octupling and sition of the input wave and its phase-shifted version. The
optical carrier suppression scheme uses a single LiNbO3 electric field of the output signal is mathematically
MZM by keeping the extinction ratio as 30 dB. When expressed as follows:
compared to other works this scheme has simpler config-  
uration due to the use of a single LiNbO3 MZM with Eout ðtÞ ¼ 0:5 ejDb1 ðtÞ þ ejDb2 ðtÞ ejxc t ; ð1Þ
25 dB extinction ratio for the generation of mmw to
the phase variation of the electric field is defined as Db1 ðtÞ
achieve long-distance transmission with data rate of 3 GB/
and Db2 ðtÞ
s. The method employs LiNbO3 MZM to eliminate the use
of filter to suppress the undesired signals, and hence, the Dbi ðtÞ ¼ Vi ðtÞ; i ¼ 1; 2
method is viable and inexpensive. The work has been Vp
analyzed by transmitting the generated optical mmw signal where (Vpp ) = g is the index change per volt, Vp is the half-
for a distance of 50 km, while the quality of signal is wave voltage and Vi ðtÞ is the voltage applied at the arms of
estimated by using the eye diagram, optical spectrum and MZM.
RF spectrum. When the operating point is placed at the center of the
quasi-linear characteristics of MZM, the phase change

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A Millimeter-Wave Generation Scheme Based on Frequency Octupling Using LiNbO3 Mach–Zehnder… 403

Fig. 1 Experimental setup for

mmw generation using LiNbO3 Bias Voltage

CW Laser LiNbO3 Photodiode BPF

MZM Fiber

Data Visualizers
CS Voltage BS

p eye diagram visualizer after transmitting the optical signal

Db1 ðtÞ ¼ gV1 Cosðxm tÞ 
2 for a 50-km distance.
Db2 ðtÞ ¼ gV2 Cosðxm tÞ
where xm is the modulating voltage. Experimental Results
Rewriting Eq. (1) using Euler’s formula
Eout ðtÞ ¼ 0:5ðCosðDb1 ðtÞÞ þ jSinðDb1 ðtÞ þ CosðDb2 ðtÞÞ The generated mmw signal and the quality of the signal are
þ jSinðDb2 ðtÞÞejxc t verified by using the visualizers like optical spectrum, eye
diagram. The data rate of 3 GB/s is modulated on to
The resulting electric field is a sum of terms which can 10 GHz radio frequency for getting the 80 GHz which is
be expressed in terms of Bessel function. Hence, the MZM clearly indicated in the electrical spectrum analyzer. The
output contains an addition of multiple sidebands that is a rate of energy loss can be estimated by using Q-factor
sum of Bessel function. The MZM output in terms of when the modulated optical signal is transmitted through
Bessel function series is given as follows: the optical fiber for a distance of 50 km. Figure 2 shows
the observational result of the generated optical signal in
Eout ðtÞ ¼ 0:5ððB0 ðgV2 Þ  jB0 ðgV1 ÞÞ
X1 terms of optical and electrical spectrum. The optical
þ ðB2n1 ðgV1 Þ þ jB2n1 ðgV2 ÞÞ sinðð2n  1Þxm tÞ spectrum and the electrical spectrum of the generated mmw
n¼1 signal for the frequency 80 GHz at a distance of 50 km are
shown in Fig. 2a, b. The eye diagram shown in Fig. 2c is
þ ðB2n ðgV2 Þ þ jB2n ðgV1 ÞÞ cos 2nxm tÞÞ
n¼1 wide open when the mmw is transmitted over an optical
fiber of length 50 km. It is a clear indication that the data
where Bn is a Bessel function of first kind of order n. transmitted using optical signal is preserved and can be
The optical sideband which corresponds to n = 4 and reconstructed. The Q-factor is obtained by using BER
Bessel function of second order is retained to achieve analyzer, since the resonant photon’s average lifetime is
frequency octupling. All other optical sidebands are sup- proportional to the Q-factor; it is expressed as a function of
pressed by varying the bias and modulation voltage. The time in Fig. 2d.
output of photodiode in electrical domain is expressed as The reliability of the proposed method is verified in
follows: terms of quality factor when the generated optical signal is
Vout ðtÞ ¼ B28 ðgV2 ÞB28 ðgV1 Þ cosð8xm t þ 4u1 þ 4u2 Þ transmitted for different length of the fiber. It is inferred
from Table 1 that the proposed method is reliable when the
where u1 and u2 are the phase of the electrical signal V1 signal has to be transmitted within a distance of 50 km
and V2 , respectively. through an optical fiber and the signal transmission quality
The expression of Vout ðtÞ shows that the frequency is better when compared to other existing methods.
octupling has been achieved for the proposed system and Table 1 shows the simulation results for the different
the generated mmw is observed in both optical and elec- values of quality factor with the change in fiber length of
trical spectrum. The quality of signal is checked by using the existing method with that of the proposed method. The
optical signal generated based on quadrupler, sextupler and

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404 P. K. Anand Prem, A. Chakrapani

Fig. 2 Observational result of the generated optical millimeter-wave signal

Table 1 Fiber length versus quality factor

Fiber Quality factor
length in
km Zhang et al. method [11] Mohamed et al. method [12] Ma et al. method [14] Proposed method
(quadrupler using cascaded (sextupling using cascaded MZM) (octupling using nested (octupling using single

10 59.12 60.27 53.33 55.76

20 58.22 56.35 52.53 54.32
30 55.95 51.22 52.43 53.78
40 55.54 49.14 51.76 52.16
50 49.61 48.20 51.72 51.91
60 48.51 48.12 45.54 48.21

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A Millimeter-Wave Generation Scheme Based on Frequency Octupling Using LiNbO3 Mach–Zehnder… 405

octupler using various MZM topology for the generation of Extinction ratio increases the power level of the optical
mmw [5, 6, 8] is taken for the comparison of quality factor signal obtained by the modulator in order to decrease the
with the proposed method. The quality factor above 50 is formation of bit error during the transmission. Hence,
considered to be good for the signal transmission. In the extinction ratio plays a vital role in the determination of
proposed method, for a fiber length of 50 km, the quality BER performance. The BER is obtained by taking the ratio
factor is above 50 and when the optical fiber length between the number of error bit and total number of bit
increases to 60 km, the quality factor reduces significantly. transmitted. The main aim of this section is to reduce the
When compared to existing method, better quality factor is BER using less extinction ratio (ER). In the proposed
achieved by using single LiNbO3 MZM. After 50 km, an method, for the generation of mmw, an extinction ratio of
amplifier can be used to increase the quality factor but the 20 dB is used so that the error occurred while transmission
overall setup becomes expensive. through a 50-km optical fiber is negligible, whereas in [14],
In order to manipulate the bit error performance an ER of 25 dB is required to maintain a constant BER
occurred during transmission of signal with the increase in [14], while only 20 dB is required in the proposed method
extinction ratio, a table is formed between BER and the so that power consumption is reduced. From Table 2, BER
extinction ratio. The proposed work is compared with the takes a constant value but the ER required to get constant
existing work [14] to generate the octupling frequency, and BER in the proposed work is less compared to the existing
the simulation results are presented using their respective method [14]. Figure 3 shows the graphical representation
experimental setup. of BER versus extinction ratio which justifies the BER
convergence rate of the proposed method.
Since optical signal can transmit more amount of
information when compared to other modulation schemes,
Table 2 BER versus extinction ratio the proposed mmw generation using LiNbO3 MZM is a
Extinction Bit error rate (BER) feasible method for broadband data transmission. More-
ratio (dB) over, use of mmw in radar communication is preferred due
Ma et al. method [14] Proposed method
(octupling using nested MZM) (octupling using to its high-speed data transmission with negligible fading
single MZM) effects. Due to the avoidance of cross talk and interference,
the proposed mmw scheme can also overcome the limita-
10 1010 1015
tion of other wired and wireless data transmission schemes.
15 10 1020
The proposed method can also be extended to 12-tupling
20 10 1025
and 16-tupling scheme for efficient data transmission using
25 10 1025
proper bias voltage. The main advantage of the proposed
method is that filter is not required for suppressing the

Fig. 3 BER versus extinction ratio plot

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406 P. K. Anand Prem, A. Chakrapani

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