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Optical Channels: Practical Limits with Photon Counting

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1 Author(s)
Pierce, J. ; California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

In optical communication, ideal amplification of the received signal leads to a limiting signaling rate of 1 nat per photon. This is much inferior to the optimum limit of kT joules/nat, which we can theoretically approach by counting photons. Practically, the rates we can attain by photon counting will be limited by how elaborate codes we can instrument rather than by thermal photons.

Published in:

Communications, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 12 )