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We propose a simplified configuration of all-optical analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion using nonlinear optical loop mirrors (NOLMs). While the conventional scheme of such all-optical A/D conversion requires encoders and threshold, for -bit resolution, the proposed configuration realizes an -bit resolution only using a single encoder and threshold, based on a split-and-delay technique, in which the encoder and the threshold operate more than times as fast as the sampling speed. After discussing detailed design issues of the NOLM-based encoder with particular emphasis on the so-called counterpropagating effects, all-optical 3-bit A/D conversion at 10 GS/s is experimentally demonstrated using the proposed configuration.
Date of Publication: June 2007