February 2017 edition – Vol.9 no.2


ReSMiQ is a group of researchers in an interuniversity research center that can count on the support of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT) and nine (9) Quebec universities involved in microsystems research. We have taken steps to organize the next annual symposium to be held in Montreal on May 26, 2017. The program will feature the most recent work of keynote speakers and graduate students will present their own work during the poster competition. The best presentations will be rewarded with a cash prize. Visit the web page for more details.


– Dr. Massicotte from UQTR was invited by the project-team CAIRN of the Institut de recherche en informatique et systems aléatoires (IRISA), at the Université de Rennes I in France.

– Dr. Peter from Polytechnique Montréal received a US patent for “Deformable Interferometric Sensor Using a Polymer between Reflectors to Measure Analyte Absorption”.

– Dr. Massicotte from UQTR received a grant from MITACS part of their Accelerate program in partnership with the company Opal-RT Technologies.

– Dr. Tahar de l’université Concordia co-préside le comité d’organisation de la conférence 11th International Conference on Verification and Evaluation of Computer and Communication Systems qui se tiendra à Montréal, Canada du 24 au 25 août 2017.
Plus de détails


Upcoming intensive course
ReSMiQ and the Chapter of the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society (SSCS) in collaboration with the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (CASS) invite you to attend the following intensive courses to be held on March 30, 2017, starting at 10:00 am at Polytechnique Montréal.

Yen-Kuang Chen , Intel Corporation, U.S.A.
Title: Challenges and Opportunities of circuits and systems on Internet of Things
Place: Polytechnique Montréal, Main building, B-506
Time: 10:00am to 11:00am
Abstract and biography

Speaker: Manuel Delgado-Restituto, Instituto de Microelectronica de Sevilla, Spain
Title: Neural Spike Recording for Brain-Machine Interfaces
Place: Polytechnique Montréal, Main building, B-506
Time: 11:15am to 12:30am
Abstract and biography

Scientiic poster competition – Call for proposals
More details

Financial support for undergraduate students
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Financial support for conference participants
More details

SIGNAL is the main monthly information medium of the Microsystems Strategic Alliance of Québec (ReSMiQ). This newsletter aims to be an active link between the members of ReSMiQ and all individuals who have an interest in research and innovation in microsystems. We commit ourselves to promote in it our members’ research and increase ReSMiQ’s visibility.

ReSMiQ is a group of researchers in an interuniversity research center that can count on the support of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT) and nine (9) Quebec universities involved in microsystems research.

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Call for participation

30th IEEE Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering (CCECE 2017),
from April 30 to May 3, 2017, Windsor, Canada
More details

IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS 2017),
from May 28 to 31, 2017, Baltimore, United-States.

More details

Call for contributions

IEEE International NEWCAS Conference (NEWCAS 2017),
from June 25 to 28, 2017, Strasbourg, France.
Submission deadline: March 8, 2017.
More details

11th International Conference on Verification and Evaluation of
Computer and Communication Systems (VECoS 2017),
from August 24 to 25 août 2017, Montréal, Canada.

Submission deadline: 24 avril 2017.
Plus de détails

IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS2017),
from October 19 to 21, 2017, Turin, Italy.

Submission deadline: 16 juin 2017.
More details


Prof. Odile Liboiron-Ladouceur
McGill University
Member of ReSMiQ since 2010


Odile Liboiron-Ladouceur received the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, New York, USA. She is currently an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Photonics Interconnect at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McGill University, Quebec, Canada. Prof. Liboiron-Ladouceur held a position as an application engineer in the Mass Storage Business Unit at Teradyne in Boston, MA, USA. She worked as Design/Test Engineer in the Optical Business Unit at Texas Instruments in Dallas, TX, USA. Her research interests are in the area of photonic interconnects for data communication in high performing modern computing platforms, the development of new technology and architectures for energy-efficient optical interconnection networks, and the fabrication of Photonic Integrated Circuits (SOI, SiN, III-V) to increase the throughput of optical interconnects. She is the author or coauthor of more than 45 papers in peer-reviewed journals and 90 papers in conference proceedings. She holds three patents and has filed three other patents.  Prof. Liboiron-Ladouceur has served in different IEEE committees and conferences in the optical and photonics domains and has been an elected member of the IEEE Photonics Society Board of Governors. She is a senior IEEE member and currently is the Montreal Chapter Chair of the IEEE Photonics Society and Associate Editor of the IEEE Photonics Technology Letters. More details

Below is a selection of publications in recent years followed by representative work.

  1. M. Moayedi Pour Fard*, G. Cowan, O. Liboiron-Ladouceur, “Responsivity optimization of a high-speed germanium-on-silicon photodetector,” OSA Optics Express, 24(24), 27738-27752, Nov. 2016. (IF: 3.15)
  2. M.S. Hai* and O. Liboiron-Ladouceur, “Low-Loss Passive Si3N4 Serial-to-WDM Interface for Energy-Efficient Optical Interconnects,” IEEE/OSA Journal of Lightwave Technology, 34(23), 5444-5452, Oct. 2016 (IF: 2.57)
  3. M.S. Hai*, M. Moayedi Pour Fard*, O. Liboiron-Ladouceur, “A Ring-based 25 Gb/s DAC-less PAM-4 Modulator,” IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, 22(6), 123-130, Nov.-Dec. 2016. (IF: 3.47)
  4. M. Nikdast*, G. Nicolescu, J. Trajkovic, O. Liboiron-Ladouceur, “Chip-Scale Silicon Photonic Interconnects: A Formal Study on Fabrication Non-Uniformity,” IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technology, 34(16), 3682-3695, Aug.15, 2016. (IF: 2.57)
  5. C. Williams*, B. Banan*, G. Cowan, O. Liboiron-Ladouceur, “A Source-Synchronous Architecture Using Mode-Division Multiplexing for Source-Synchronous On-Chip Optical Interconnects,” IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, 22(6), 473-481, Nov.-Dec. 2016 (IF: 2.83)
  6. S. Faralli, F. Gambini, P. Pitus, M. Scaffardi, O. Liboiron-Ladouceur, Y. Xiong, P. Castoldi, N. Andriolli, I. Cerutti, “Bidirectional Transmission in an Optical Network on Chip with Bus and Ring Topologies,” IEEE Photonics Journal, 8(2), 1-8, April 2016. (IF: 2.231)
  7. F. Göhring de Magalhaes*, R. Priti*, M. Nikdast*, F. Hessel, O. Liboiron-Ladouceur, G. Nicolescu, “Design and Modelling of a Low-Latency Centralized Controller for Optical Integrated Networks,” IEEE Communications Letters, 20(3), 462–465, March 2016. (IF: 1.27).
  8. B. Banan*, R. Niall Tait, O. Liboiron-Ladouceur, and P. Berini, “Fabrication of metal strip waveguides for optical and microwave data transmission,” Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, 33(6), November/December 2015. (IF: 1.46)
  9. M.S. Hai*, M. Ménard, and O. Liboiron-Ladouceur, “Integrated optical deserialiser time sampling based SiGe photoreceiver,” OSA Optics Express, 23(25), 31736-54, 15 December 2015. (IF: 3.488)
  10. M. Moayedi Pour Fard*, G. Cowan, and O. Liboiron-Ladouceur, “Analysis of Low-Bit Soft-Decision Error Correction in Optical Front Ends,” OSA Journal of Optical Communications and Networking, 7(9), 885–897, August 2015. (IF: 1.547)


A Ring-Based 25 Gb/s DAC-Less PAM-4 Modulator

A novel PAM-4 12.5 Gbaud/s inter-coupling modulator based on a Mach-Zehnder interferometer assisted ring resonator is demonstrated. The 25 Gb/s PAM-4 optical signal is generated by driving the modulator with two independent electrical signals with an amplitude of 3 Vpp at 2 V reverse bias. Reverse bias operation mode of the modulator enables achieving an electro-optic (EO) bandwidth of approximately 14 GHz without pre-emphasis of the electrical driving signals or equalization techniques. This configuration (Fig. 1) successfully simplifies the operation of the modulator in generating PAM-4 signals without the need for a digital-to-analog converter (DAC). Experimental results show proper generation of a PRBS data stream (Fig. 3). The proposed modulator has a compact footprint of 0.48 mm2 (Fig. 2) with a bandwidth density of 52.08 Gb/s/mm2.



Fig. 1. Schematic of the proposed inter-coupling modulation based PAM-4 ring modulator. The optical signal modulation is enabled by coupling modulation, change in the round-trip phase shift and slight variation of its loss. The modulator has two p-n diode segments in the lower arm of the balanced MZI with lengths of  LLSB = 220 μm and  LMSB = 330 μm. There are also two thermal heaters that were implemented with the top metal layer. The smallest p–n diode segment generates a phase shift Δφ1 with an RF signal V1 representing the lowest significant bit (LSB). The largest p–n diode segment generates a phase shift Δφ2 with an RF signal V2 representing the MSB.


Fig. 2. Microscopic image of the designed ring modulator on chip excluding the optical grating couplers.


Fig. 3. Eye diagrams (12.5 Gb/s) at the output of the ring modulator when driven by (a) only V1 (MSB), (b) only V2 (LSB). The corresponding electrical eye diagrams are shown at the left.