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Optical amplifiers transform long-distance lightwave telecommunications

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2 Author(s)
Giles, R. ; Crawford Hill Lab., AT&T Bell Labs., Holmdel, NJ, USA ; Tingye Li

Optical amplifiers and wavelength-multiplexing technology are transforming lightwave communications by providing cost-effective upgrades that will increase immensely the transmission capacity of long-distance telecommunications networks. A new generation of undersea cable systems using fiber optical amplifiers as repeaters has been developed for transoceanic applications, yielding a capacity almost ten times larger than conventional systems using opto-electronic regenerators. Terrestrial long-haul networks will benefit significantly from amplified wavelength-multiplexed transmission systems designed to access the large inherent bandwidth in the installed fiber. Successful deployment of these advanced systems requires a thorough understanding of optical amplifiers and the optical fiber medium, as their requirements interrelate through optical bandwidth, noise, dispersion, optical nonlinearities, and their impact on signal transmission. While the first commercial WDM amplified lightwave systems are deployed for point-to-point applications, optical transparency and wavelength multiplexing will be exploited for networking leading to the higher functionality and improved cost-effectiveness expected of photonic networks

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:84 ,  Issue: 6 )