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WDM systems with unequally spaced channels

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3 Author(s)
Forghieri, F. ; Crawford Hill Lab., AT&T Bell Labs., Holmdel, NJ, USA ; Tkach, R.W. ; Chraplyvy, A.R.

Crosstalk due to four-wave mixing (FWM) is the dominant nonlinear effect in long-haul multichannel optical communication systems employing dispersion-shifted fiber. A method is discussed to find non-uniform channel separations for which no four-wave mixing product is superimposed on any of the transmitted channels, therefore suppressing FWM crosstalk. The residual crosstalk, due to channel power depletion only, is analytically evaluated for intensity-modulated repeaterless wavelength-division-multiplexed (WDM) systems and compared to experimental results. The theory includes the effect of the channel depletion on the amplitude of each phase-matched FWM wave. The probability of error is evaluated including the statistics of the pattern dependent channel depletion. The BER curve computed for an 8-channel WDM system is found to be in good agreement with experimental results. In the experiment, repeaterless transmission of eight 10 Gb/s WDM channels over 137 km (11 Tb/s-km) of dispersion-shifted fiber was demonstrated and error-free operation was achieved over a wide range of input powers using unequally spaced channels. The same system with equally spaced channels could not achieve a probability of error lower than 10-6. The use of unequal channel spacing allowed fiber input power to be increased by as much as 7 dB, which could be translated into a fivefold increase of the bit rate per channel (and therefore of the system capacity), or to an increase in the system length of about 30 km

Published in:

Lightwave Technology, Journal of  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 5 )