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Direct-Detection Superchannel Using Optical OFDM

Wei-Ren Peng, Hidenori Takahashi, Itsuro Morita, and Takehiro Tsuritani

* KDDI R&D Laboriatories Inc., 1-4-25 Ohara Fujimino-shi, Saitama, 356-8502 Japan
Keywords: direct detection, optical OFDM.
We will review the transmissions of a high-speed (> 100Gb/s)
direct-detection superchannel using optical OFDM over an all-
EDFA-based standard-single-mode-fiber (SSMF) link.
1 Introduction
Extensive reports on direct-detection transmissions have
continually been published for years due to its use of the very
simple receiver which generally requires only photodiodes for
detection [1-2]. Most direct-detection researches had relied on
only the dispersion-managed links until recently that the
electronic equalization has been introduced into optical
communications for compensating the chromatic dispersion
(CD) [3]. The introduction of electronic equalization has
indeed started a new era of dispersion-unmanaged links which
discard the need for dispersion map design and offer a lower-
nonlinear transmission medium [4]. Facing this link evolution,
the joint operation between the direct-detection receiving and
the newly-considered dispersion-unmanaged link should be an
interesting research topic in consideration of the
implementation cost.
To incorporate the direct-detection scheme in a dispersion-
unmanaged link, there have mainly been two proposals of the
single-carrier transmission with pre-equalization [3] and 2)
multi-carrier transmission with post-equalization [5]. The first
pre-equalization proposal [3] could work very well against CD,
while it requires the link information (i.e. the exact
information of the accumulated CD) beforehand which would
exclude its application in some dynamic routing networks. The
second proposal [5], commonly referred to as direct-detection
optical orthogonal-frequency-division-multiplexing (DDO-
OFDM), can automatically estimate and compensate CD at the
receiver without the exact link information at the transmitter.
Therefore, DDO-OFDM could support both the point-to-point
and dynamic routing networks, and should be seriously
repositioned due to its specific transparency to different kinds
of network architectures.
Even with the above-mentioned advantages, the
conventional DDO-OFDM has a limited transmission
performance which might restrict its application only to the
short-reach networks [6-7]. Among the many reported DDO-
OFDM systems, the self-coherent OFDM [8] has been
proposed to extend both the capacity and reach of the
conventional DDO-OFDM, while it enhances remarkably the
receivers complexity diminishing the inherent benefits of
using direct detection. Therefore, a laudable goal for DDO-
OFDM system would be to improve its transmission
performance with simple solutions which could still keep the
low-cost nature of direct detection.
Recently, we had proposed and demonstrated a DDO-
OFDM super-channel (DDO-OFDM-S) with a very simple
optical multiband receiving (OMBR) [9, 10], which detects
one band per time for the multi-band DDO-OFDM-S. In this
paper, we will review our DDO-OFDM-S transmissions that
had achieved the following records in the dispersion-
unmanaged links that use direct detection: 1) 214 Gb/s over
720-km SSMF, 2) 117 Gb/s over 1200-km SSMF with only 1-
dB OSNR penalty.
2 Experimental Setup, Results and Discussions
In Fig. 1 we depict the experimental setups for the proposed
DDO-OFDM-S system. The detailed setup description can be
found in [9, 10] and thus is omitted here. With this setup we
will demonstrate two capacities of (1) 214 Gb/s (190 Gb/s
without overhead) with 16-QAM format and (2) 117 Gb/s
(100 Gb/s without overhead) with 4-QAM format.
In Fig. 2 we firstly show the experimental results of 16-
QAM, 214-Gb/s DDO-OFDM-S. In this experiment, we use a
high carrier-to-sideband-power-ratio (CSPR) of ~10 dB to
keep the carrier in good quality after transmission. Figure 2(a)
depicts the OSNR tolerance in back to back with and without
the optical carriers. The required OSNR achieving bit error
rate (BER) = 1e-3 is found to be ~34 dB due to the high
carrier power. With the consideration of the utilized CSPR =
~10 dB, the required OSNR for the central sideband, i.e.
Fig. 1 Experimental setup for DDO-OFDM-S. ECL: external cavity laser, AWG: arbitrary waveform generator, MZM: Mach-Zehnder modulator, IL: 50:100
inter-leaver, SMF: single mode fiber, DPF: double pass-band filter, OBPF: optical band-pass filter, LPF: electrical low-pass filter.
Fig. 2 16-QAM, 214-Gb/s demonstration: (a) OSNR tolerance, with 0-
km SSMF, (b) Q
vs. Launch power with 720-km SSMF, and (c) Q
band index with 720-km SSMF.

super-channel, could be estimated to be ~24 dB, which is
found to be similar to the value in a CO-OFDM system [11].
In Fig. 2(b) we show the measured Q
factor in dB as a
function of the fiber launch power after 720-km transmission.
The optimum power is found to be ~8 dBm, which yields the
best performance under the linear noise and nonlinear fiber
distortion limitations. Figure 2(c) shows the results of
measured Q
versus band index, of which the definition can be
found in the inset of Fig. 2(b). In the case of back to back, the
5th band shows the worst performance caused by the
insufficient bandwidth of the receiver's components; while the
other 8 bands exhibit Q
factors higher than 12 dB. After 720-
km transmission, the worst performance happens on the 1st
band, which still yields a Q
higher than the 7% FEC threshold
of 8.53 dB [12]. After transmission, the performance
differences among the signal bands are reduced because it
turns to be the noise and distortion that dominant the
performance instead of the receiver's bandwidth.
Next we present the experimental results of 4-QAM,
117-Gb/s DDO-OFDM-S in Fig 3. The utilized CSPR is
switched to ~3 dB to minimize the required OSNR. In Fig.
3(a) we show the Q
factor as a function of the launch power
after 1200-km SSMF transmission. The optimum power is
found to be ~2 dBm, which is smaller than the 214-Gb/s
system due to the lower CSPR here. BER versus OSNR in
back-to-back and after 1200-km transmission are depicted in
Fig. 3(b). We found that in back-to-back the required OSNR at
BER = 1e-3 is ~21.1 dB, which achieves a new record in the
100-Gb/s-class DDO-OFDM systems, and that after
transmission the OSNR penalty is only ~1 dB, which exhibits
a similar performance when compared with a coherent system
[13]. We also discuss its PMD tolerance in Fig. 3(c). A 3-dB
Q penalty is found at an instantaneous DGD value of ~10 ps,
revealing that the demonstrated system could support a PMD
outage probability of lower than 7.4e-9 [10].
Fig. 3 4-QAM, 117-Gb/s demonstration: (a) Q
vs. Launch power with
1200-km SSMF, (b) OSNR tolerance with 0- and 1200-km SSMF, and
(c) Q
vs. PMD effect (DGD) with 0-km SSMF.
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[12] ITU-T Recommendation G.975.1, Appendix I.9, 2004.
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