We theoretically investigated a digitally tunable laser with a chirped ladder filter and a ring resonator to obtain a wide wavelength tuning range covering the whole C- or L- band. The clear relation between the tuning range and laser structure, especially the ladder filter, is described analytically. The introduction of a chirped structure into a ladder filter is effective in achieving both wide tunability and a stable lasing mode. A numerical simulation based on multimode rate equations shows that a tuning range of over 40 nm and a mode suppression ratio over 40 dB can be achieved by introducing a chirped ladder filter.
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