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Course : TCET 4102 (TC 700)

Fiber-optic communications: Module 7 - EDFA
Prepared by: Professor Djafar K. Mynbaev
Fall 2016
D.Mynbaev, TCET 4102, Module7, 1
Fall 2016
Introduction to optical networks
and their components
The need for amplification and dispersion
Repeaters and optical amplifiers
Optical amplifiers:
Raman amplifier (including latest developments)
and hybrid amplification
Semiconductor optical amplifier
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Reminder - multiplexing:
time-division multiplexing
(TDM) and wavelength-
division multiplexing

Figure 12.5 TDM and WDM networks.

Read the textbook, Pages 503-506.

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Two main transmission
Transmission of optical signal over an optical
fiber suffers from two main impairments:
attenuation due to loss of power and
bandwidth decrease due to dispersion.

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Need for signal amplification
Problem: Find the maximum transmission distance, Lmax, if A =
0.2 dB/km, launched power, Pin = 0 dBm, and the receiver
sensitivity, Prec = -20 dBm.
Loss allowed: Loss (dB) = Pout(dBm) Pin(dBm) = -20 (dBm) 0 (dBm)
= -20 dB.
A(dB/km) = Loss(dB)/Lmax(km)
Lmax(km) = Loss(dB)/A(dB/km) = -20(dB)/0.2(dB/km) = 100 km.
The length of a trans-Atlantic submarine cable connecting the
New Jersey shore (USA) and Normandy beach (France) is
roughly 5,000 km. Obviously, the signal will attenuate
completely over this distance without any boosting of its power.
Hence, we need to boost the optical signal for long-distance
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Two means to boost an optical signal: Regenerators
(repeaters) and optical amplifiers

Regenerators (repeaters)
Pulse train sent Pulse train in Pulse train out

Optical fiber 100 km

Optical amplifiers
Pulse train sent Pulse train in Pulse train out

Optical fiber 100 km
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Regenerators and amplifiers

Figure 12.6 Repeaters and optical amplifiers: a) Functional block diagram of a repeater;
b) simplified block diagram of a repeater; c) optical amplifier.
Read the textbook, Pages 508-510.
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1 regenerators 1
Regenera- REG1 1
tors and

amplifiers N N



Regenerators principle of operation:

E/O and O/E conversion
Decision-making circuit
Demultiplexing and multiplexing in WDM transmission

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We need regeneration to support high bit rate. However, regeneration presents
the following main problems:
1. They use O/E and E/O conversions cost, power consumption, and time delay.
2. They are sensitive to the bit rate and format of a signal.
3. Regeneration sites have the highest failure rate in the network because of heavy
concentration of high-speed electronic and optical components.
4. Most importantly, regenerators can work with one wavelength only because for
E/O conversion we must use one LD. In WDM they require demultiplexing
and multiplexing.
Conclusion: Avoid regeneration by all means!
Regeneration solutions: To avoid the regeneration :
Employ dispersion management strategy (the most practical)
Make use of hybrid Raman/EDFA amplification (the most practical)
Put into practice the new coding techniques (FEC, DPSK, etc.)
Use new pre-compensation [6] and electronic compensation[7], [8] techniques
NEW: Employ coherent transmission technology (100 Gb/s x 88 channels x
3,000 km!)
All these solutions translate into the need for development of new components.
Examples: inexpensive E/0 converters and dispersion-compensation modules.
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Optical amplifiers

Classification of optical amplifiers (OAs)

Rare-earth-doped fiber Semiconductor-based Transmission fiber-based

based amplifiers amplifiers amplifiers
Erbium-doped fiber Semiconductor optical Raman
amplifier (EDFA) amplifier (SOA)

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Spectral bandwidths of optical amplifiers
Attenuation (dB/km)

C-band EDFA

L-band EDFA


Wavelength (nm)
1351 1451 1551 1611

Gain bandwidth of various optical amplifiers.
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Optical amplifiers - EDFA
Erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) is the workhorse of WDM networks.
Main advantages:
Cover C band from 1530 to 1565 nm and L band from 1560 to 1610 nm.
Can amplify wavelength-division multiplexed signal in any transmission format,
bit rate, and wavelength.
High gain (> 30 dB) and low noise figures ( 6 dB).
Fiber-based optical amplifiers easy coupling with transmission optical fiber.
Insensitive to signal polarization.
Multi-component unit high cost and sophisticated control + difficult to
integrate with other components. [Mostly in the past.]
Sensitive to dropping and adding channels (transient problem) dynamic gain
equalization is required. [Not a big issue today.]
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Optical amplifiers - EDFA

Fig. 12.25 Erbium-doped fiber amplifier: a) co-propagating pump; b) counter-propagating

pump; c) amplified WDM channels; d) signal and noise in EDFA.
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EDFA principle of
Read the textbook, Pages 542-
Principle of operation:
Light amplification stimulated
emission (Page 542)
Energy-level diagram (Pages 542-
Pumping (Page 544)
Gain bandwidths: C-band and L
band (Page 545)
Components (Page 542 - How
Amplification Occurs)
spontaneous emission noise into the
system with strength I = aGhfcB.
Here G is the ampliifier gain, h is Planck's constant,
fc and B are the centre frequency and bandwidth
respectively, and a is a numerical constant (which
assumed to be 2).[Desurvire, E. Erbium Doped Fibre Figure 12.26 Energy bands of erbium ions in a
Amplifers 69 (Wiley, New York, 1994).]
silica fiber.
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EDFA - gain
EDFA gain:
Gain is proportional to the difference
between the number of erbium ions at the
upper (Level 2) and lower (Level 1)
energy levels population inversion
(Page 543-544, Fig. 12.26)
Gain = 10 log [Pout (mW)/Pin(mW)
Figure 12.18 Gain (dB) saturation.
(Pages 545-547)
Example 12.4.1
Gain saturation (Fig. 12.18 and Page 547)

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EDFA more about gain
EDFA generates noise, which is an amplified spontaneous
emission (ASE) noise (Pages 549-550)
Gain (dB) = 10 log [Pout-PASE(W)]/Pin(W)

EDFAs gain bandwidth is restricted: C-Band and L-band (Fig.

12.27 and Page 545)

EDFAs gain in WDM transmission: One EDFA must support

many (up to 80) wavelengths simultaneously. These
wavelengths compete for the EDFAs gain; hence, total EDFA
gain depends on the number of wavelengths (channel counts)
transmitted. (Pages 548-549, Pumping power.)
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EDFA noise, gain and OSNR
0 dBm

Signal power
(-35 dBm)

(32.5 dB)
Noise power
(-67.5 dBm)

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Noise figure, Fn or NF

Pinsignal(mW) EDFAideal Poutsignal(mW) = APinsignal(mW)

Pinnoise(mW) (Gain, A) Poutnoise(mW) = APinnoise(mW)

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EDFA noise figure (real EDFA)
Pinsignal(mW) EDFAreal Poutsignal(mW) = APinsignal(mW)
(Gain, A; noise, PASE))
Pinnoise(mW) Poutnoise(mW) = APinnoise(mW) + PASE(mW)

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Noise figure (example)

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EDFA, noise figure and OSNR


Aaron T. Deragon, EXFO seminar, 11/13/12, Edison, NJ.

1. Noise figure, NF, shows how OSNR degrades over the course of transmission.
2. OSNRfinal = OSNRinitialNFn, where n is the number of EDFAs.
3. OSNRfinal is determined by the required BER (see figure in next slide).
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The role of OSNR in transmission
Discuss the graph:

Show the required

OSNR for a specific
BER! (e.g., to sustain BER = 10 -12 its
necessary to keep OSNR = 24.5 dB for
OOK (ASK) because BER = QSNRdigital)

The greater the OSNR,

the better (lower) BER,
the less errors in signals,
the higher the quality of transmission!
Recall the Shannon theorem (limit):
C(bit/s) = BW(Hz) log2(1 + SNR)
Transmission capacity depends on
SNR! (with given BW(Hz))

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EDFA, noise figure, OSNR, and transmission
Example (refer to the previous and to the next slides):
Initial OSNRinitial = 50 (dB), required BER = 10-12 for ASK modulation, and OA 400
EDFAs are installed every 100 km. (See the graph BER vs. OSNR in the orevious slide
and OA 400 specifications in the next slide.) Find the maximum transmission distance,
Dmax, that can be covered by this system.
For OA 400 EDFA, NF = 6 dB. From the graph BER vs. OSNR, the required OSNRfinal is
approximately 24.5 dB. Therefore,
NFn (dB) = OSNRinitial OSNRfinal ,
where n is the number of EDFAs installed in the link.
Thus, OSNRinitial OSNRfinal = 50 24,5 = 25.5 (dB) , NFn = 25.5 (dB) and n = 5. (Note
that 25.5/6 = 4.25, but the number of EDFAs must be the integer.)
Since for each EDFA transmission distance is 100 (km), we find Dmax = 600 (km) because
the first 100-km span is provided by the transmitter, and the total distance is equal to 100
(km) from TX to the first EDFA plus 500 (km) from the first EDFA to the RX.
Answer: Dmax = 500 km.
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Main characteristics of EDFA

Spectral bandwidth (nm) = max(nm)min(nm)

Gain* (dB) = 10 log( )
Maximum input and output power (dBm)
Noise figure.
* Explain small signal gain
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EDFA specifications - 1

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EDFA specifications 1 (contd)

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EDFA for WDM specifications

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EDFA for WDM specifications
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Optical networks components
- optical amplifiers
Raman amplification: principle of operation
Pump high light power (0.5-1 W) into regular fiber and
get optical signal amplified.
Active medium: transmission fiber.
Gain mechanism: transferring pump power to optical signal.
Pumping: Amplified wavelength is about 100 nm longer than a
pump wavelength.For example, pumping at 1450 nm provides
gain around 1550 nm with about 30-nm bandwidth.
Physics: Stimulated Raman scatteringhigh-energy-pump photons scatter
off the fiber cores lattice matrix and cause appearance of wavelength-shifted
photons that coherently add to lower energy (longer wavelength) signal
photons gain.
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Optical networks components
- optical amplifiers

Discrete Raman amplifier and pump laser for Raman amplification.

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Optical networks components
- optical amplifiers
Raman amplification: block diagram

Input signal Transmission fiber Output signal


PBC (Polarization-beam combiner) PBC PBC

1 2 3 4
Pump Pump Pump Pump
laser laser laser laser

Control electronics
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Optical networks components - optical amplifiers
Raman amplification pump and gain spectra
Raman gain coefficient, 10-13 (m/W)

Raman pump Raman gain


Total gain

1 2 3 4

1420 1460 1500 1540 1580

Raman bandwidth 1620
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Optical networks components
- optical amplifiers
Raman amplification: components
Active medium: Transmission fiber for distributed
amplification. Raman gain coefficient varies for
different fibers (SMF, NZDSF, DSF, etc.) within 20%.
Pump sources:Laser diodes (most common), Raman
fiber lasers (noisy).
WDM multiplexer: Must keep up to 1 W optical power.
Dielectric (bulk optics) and fused-fiber coupler.
Optical monitoring: Provides control of the whole
operation and eye-safety control.
.Polarization-beam splitter: Provides mixing of two
polarized beams depolarized pump source.

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Optical networks components
- optical amplifiers
Raman amplification application


Total gain Raman

Signal power


Raman gain EDFA gain Amplifier site

Raman small-signal gain ~ exp(gRPpumpLeff//Aeff); Effective (differential) noise figure ranges from 3 dB
to 3 dB.
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Raman Amplification

Optics & Photonics New, September 2015, Pp. 32-39.

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Raman Amplification

Optics & Photonics New, September 2015, Pp. 32-39.

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Raman Amplification
Raman amplification could be an intermediate solution to the
current capacity crunch (crisis) thanks to the following
It covers 100 nm spectrum from 1520 nm to 1620 m (240 s
with 50 GHz channel spacing) in contrast to EDFA that
typically covers 36 nm from 1526 (nm) to 1562 (nm) (80 s
with 50 GHz channel spacing).
Provides the better reach (transmission distance without
amplification) because
Keeps nonlinearity at low level thanks to distributed gain;
Improving OSNR thanks to backward pumping, which adds almost no
nonlinearity since the gain occurs at the low signal power.
Bertrand Clesca, Herve Fevrier and Wayne Pelouch, Raman Amplification for High-Capacity,
Long-Haul Networking, Optics & Photonic News, September 2015, pp. 33-39.
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Raman Amplification - experiment

Tiejun J. Xia, Herve Fevrier, Ting Wang, and Toshio Morioka, Introduction of Spectrally and Spatially Flexible Optical
Networks, IEEE Communications Magazine February 2015.

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Finisar Raman Amplifier Module

Raman gain measurement and automatic gain control (AGC)
Class 1M* laser safety classification
Detection of optical supervisory channel (OSC)
Detection of open connectors and/or broken fiber
Supports both co- and counterpropagating configurations
Up to 18 dB average gain for G.652 fiber (three pump model)
Long repeaterless links
Storage area networks (SANs)
Improving OSNR in long-haul and ultra-long haul links
40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s transmission and/or Increasing channel
count to 80+WDM channels

2013 Finisar Corporation. All rights reserved. Finisar is a registered trademark of Finisar Corporation.

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Finisar Raman Amplifier Module
See Gain and Noise Figure!

2013 Finisar Corporation. All rights reserved. Finisar is a registered trademark of Finisar Corporation.
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Optical networks components
- semiconductor optical amplifiers

Operation of a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) [1].

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Optical networks components
- optical amplifiers

Module of a SOA operating at 1550 nm by QPhotonics, L.L.C.

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Optical networks components
See reading assignment and homework problems in the courses outline.
After study this module you must be able to:
Explain TDM and WDM links.
Demonstrate the need for the signal amplification in optical network
Explain the difference between regenerator and optical amplifier
List drawbacks of a regenerator.
Explain operation of EDFA and its application.
Discuss the main parameters of an EDFA (spectral bandwidth, maximum input power
and maximum output power, small signal gain, and noise figure.)
Explain the meaning of EDFAs specifications
Explain operation of Raman amplifier and its application.
Explain the advantages of using the hybrid (EDFA+Raman) amplification
Compare characteristics of EDFA and Raman amplifiers.

1. Djafar K. Mynbaev, The physical layer of the optical networks: Devices and subsystems, IEEE Communications
Society, online tutorial, 2006.
2. Djafar K. Mynbaev and Lowell L. Scheiner, Fiber-Optic Communications Technology, Prentice Hall, 2001.
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