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The performance of different electronic equalization and processing schemes for 40- and 10-Gb/s optical transmission over single-mode fiber (SMF) are discussed, from the point of their ability to compensate chromatic dispersion (CD) and polarization mode dispersion (PMD). In addition, the impact of fiber nonlinearity and modulation format on equalization is also investigated. The main objective of this paper is to present an overview and a comparison of the performances rather than a detailed explanation of the principles of the different equalization schemes. The equalizers which will be covered are analog equalizer (feedforward and decision feedback type), maximum likelihood sequence estimator (MLSE), electronic precompensation, coherent/intradyne detection with digital signal processing (DSP) equalization, DSP-based optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM), and turbo equalization.