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This paper presents an electrooptic vector digital-to-analog converter (EO-DAC) for coherent synthesis of optical multilevel signals, such as quadrature-amplitude modulation (QAM) signals. For generation of an optical multilevel/QAM signal, the inphase (I) and quadrature (Q) components of a carrier lightwave should be orthogonally modulated in multi-levels. Conventionally, inphase-quadrature (IQ) orthogonal modulators have been utilized for this purpose. In the scheme, however, the symbol rate available for multilevel/QAM signals is limited, and it is difficult to obtain a clear constellation because of the difficulty involved in handling with electrical multilevel signals. The EO-DAC employing multiparallel modulator, described in this paper, can be used to synthesize multilevel signals through the combination of binary data streams. Using this proposed technology, multilevel signals can be coherently synthesized at a high bit rate, and clearer constellations can be obtained. Further, because of its flexibility, and versatility, the EO-DAC can be used for the several types of multilevel modulation formats. In this paper, we describe the EO synthesis of optical multilevel signals especially focusing on the method based on the EO-DAC, along with comparisons with other conventional methods.
Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of (Volume:16 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: Sept.-Oct. 2010