A SPAD-based Visible Light Communications Receiver Employing Higher Order Modulation

Oscar Almer, Dobroslav Tsonev, Neale Dutton, Tarek AlAbbas, Stefan Videv, Salvatore Gnecchi, Harald Haas, Robert K. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper studies complex modulation schemes,
including orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM),
received by a single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) array
integrated circuit (IC). A SPAD operates in the Geiger mode,
and is able to detect single photons. This feature enables order
of magnitude receiver sensitivity in intensity modulation (IM)
/ direct detection (DD) Visible Light Communication (VLC)
systems. The tradeoff between received power and bit error ratio
(BER) using both pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM) and OFDM
is shown. A first order model of the noise in a digital SPAD
receiver is derived. The noise in the experimental receiver chip
approaches the predicted noise in our model, and we achieve
receiver sensitivity of −64 dBm with a 100 kbit/s signal at a
BER of 10−5. It is concluded that future improvements in SPAD
VLC receiver architecture will allow sensitivity to approach the
quantum limit.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2015
Event2015 IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM) - San Diego, United States
Duration: 6 Dec 201510 Dec 2015


Conference2015 IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM)
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


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