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In this paper, we investigate the design of a field-programmable-gate-array (FPGA) based optical orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) transmitter implementing real-time digital signal processing at 21.4 GSample/s. The transmitter was utilized to generate 8.34 Gb/s QPSK-OFDM signals for direct detection. We study the impact of the finite resolutions of the inverse fast Fourier transform cores and the digital-to-analog converters on the system performance. Furthermore, we describe a transmission experiment over 800 and 1600 km of uncompensated standard fiber with negligible optical SNR penalties and bit error rate <; 10-3.