Skip to Main Content
An approximate analysis is presented which can be used to predict the performance of power and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) equalization schemes when applied to dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) lightwave systems employing erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) cascades. Expressions are provided which relate the maximum number of amplifiers, EDFA gain imbalance, bit rate (Rb), transmitter power, receiver dynamic range and number of channels. The relative advantages of these two equalization strategies are quantified by comparing the maximum number of amplifiers allowed by each scheme. It is shown that, while SNR equalization represents, on balance, the more desirable equalization strategy for future EDFA-based DWDM lightwave transmission systems, under certain conditions power equalization may be a better choice. When employing an APD receiver, for instance, power equalization can support 1.9 times more amplifiers than SNR equalization. However, when employing the more conventional preamplified PIN/FET receiver, SNR equalization can support 1.7 times more amplifiers than power equalization.