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Opportunities to enhance multimode fiber links by application of overfilled launch

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1 Author(s)
Donlagic, D. ; Fac. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Univ. of Maribor, Slovenia

This paper investigates possibilities for the practical design of high-performance multimode fibers (MMFs) that can provide bandwidths in excess of 10 GHz·km in an overfilled regime of operation. Analysis of standard MMF in an overfilled launch demonstrates that the theoretical bandwidth limitations arise from the influence of cladding on the propagation of the highest order modes. Practical MMF profile designs that overcome this problem are investigated. The standard 50- and 62.5-μm fiber profiles are redesigned first to allow for the performance in an overfilled launch with the differential mode delays (DMDs) below 0.055 and 0.250 ns/km, respectively. It is shown that such fibers can exhibit the same or better theoretical bandwidth in an overfilled launch when compared to standard fiber under restricted launch. Elimination of the need for the restricted mode launch in high-performance multimode transmission systems can improve reliability issues and can relax the range of tolerance requirements imposed on terminal equipment, optical components, and link installation. Furthermore, MMFs that can be operated in an overfilled launched are compatible with emerging vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) array technologies. A successfully controlled higher order mode DMD also allows for the reduction of MMF core size and Δ that can be beneficial for low-cost high-performance single-channel links. It is demonstrated that properly designed reduced core fibers can achieve theoretical DMDs in the range of 0.005-0.02 ns/km. The bend loss properties of redesigned fibers are investigated in detail, showing that the proposed modifications do not lead to significant degradation of bend loss performance. Moreover, they can be manufactured at considerably lower cost while utilizing commercially readily available low-cost VCSELs. Even where the theoretical limit is not achieved by practical fiber making, the reduced core size and Δ MMF can provide higher production yield, lower cost, and higher average bandwidth.

Published in:

Lightwave Technology, Journal of  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 11 )