APD and SPAD receivers

Integrated receivers with avalanche photodiodes (APDs) and single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) fabricated in 0.35µm CMOS and BiCMOS technologies are introduced. The APD receivers were used in error-free optical wireless communication experiments with maximum transmission distances from 11m to 27m at 1Gb/s and from 6.5m to 16.5m at 2Gb/s without receiver lense and without optical filter. The APD receivers work up to and exceeding 2000lux ambient light.  The newest trend are SPAD-based receivers, which reduce the gap to the quantum limit. The state of the art of SPAD receivers will be summarized and reviewed also in comparison to APD receivers.


Dr. Horst Zimmermann, received the diploma in Physics in 1984 from the University of Bayreuth, Germany, and the Dr.-Ing. degree from the University Erlangen-Nürnberg working at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS-B), Erlangen, Germany in 1991. Then, Dr. Zimmermann was an Alexander-von-Humboldt Research-Fellow at Duke University, Durham, N.C., working on diffusion in Si, GaAs, and InP until 1992. In 1993, he joined the Chair for Semiconductor Electronics at Kiel University, Kiel, Germany, where he lectured optoelectronics and worked on optoelectronic integration. Since 2000 he is full professor for Electronic Circuit Engineering at Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria. His main interests are in design and characterization of analog and nanometer CMOS circuits as well as optoelectronic integrated CMOS and BiCMOS circuits, in optical wireless communication, in single-photon detection and in electronic-photonic integration. He is author of the Springer books ‘Integrated Silicon Optoelectronics’ and ‘Silicon Optoelectronic Integrated Circuits’ as well as coauthor of “Highly Sensitive Optical Receivers”, “Optical Communication over Plastic Optical Fibers”, “Analog Filters in Nanometer CMOS”, “Comparators in Nanometer CMOS Technology”, and “Optoelectronic Circuits in Nanometer CMOS Technology”. In addition he is author and co-author of more than 500 publications. In 2002 he became Senior Member IEEE. He was primary guest editor of the Nov./Dec. 2014 issue of IEEE J. Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics on Optical Detectors: Technology and Applications.

Technical cosponsorship:

IEEE Austria Section
IEEE Austria Section

IEEE Croatia Section
IEEE Croatia Section

IEEE Communications
/ Microwave Theory and Techniques
Societies Joint Austria Chapter

IEEE ComSoc Croatia Chapter
IEEE ComSoc Croatia Chapter


[TU Graz logo]

Graz University of Technology
Faculty of Electrical and Information Engineering

[UniZG FER logo]

University of Zagreb
Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering


[NXP logo]
NXP Semiconductors

[TDK logo]
TDK Electronics

[Rekirsch logo]
Rekirsch Elektronik

[Anritsu logo]

[Glyn logo]

[Glyn logo]

Special Acknowledgement:

[Stadt Graz sign]

City of Graz

[Steiermark coat of arms]

Province of Styria