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Optical code-division multiple access (OCDMA) is an interesting subject of research because of its potential to support asynchronous, bursty communications. OCDMA has been investigated for local area networks, access networks, and, more recently, as a packet label for emerging networks. Two-dimensional (2-D) OCDMA codes are preferred in current research because of the flexibility of designing the codes and their higher cardinality and spectral efficiency (SE) compared with direct sequence codes based on on-off keying and intensity modulation/direct detection, and because they lend themselves to being implemented with devices developed for wavelength-division-multiplexed (WDM) transmission (the 2-D codes typically combine wavelength and time as the two dimensions of the codes). This paper shows rigorously that 2-D wavelength/time codes have better SE than one-dimensional (1-D) CDMA/WDM combinations (of the same cardinality). Then, the paper describes a specific set of wavelength/time (W/T) codes and their implementation. These 2-D codes are high performance because they simultaneously have high cardinality (≫10), per-user high bandwidth (>1 Gb/s), and high SE (>0.10 b/s/Hz). The physical implementation of these W/T codes is described and their performance evaluated by system simulations and measurements on an OCDMA technology demonstrator. This research shows that OCDMA implementation complexity (e.g., incorporating double hard-limiting and interference estimation) can be avoided by using a guard time in the codes and an optical hard limiter in the receiver.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2004