Skip to Main Content
We investigate the interaction between Kerr nonlinearity and polarization mode dispersion (PMD) in homogeneous multi-channel polarization division multiplexing coherent phase shift keying transmissions. Assuming linear distortions can be fully equalized by the coherent receiver, we concentrate the investigation on the residual nonlinear penalty. We introduce a novel simulation procedure to discriminate intra-channel PMD, i.e., PMD within the channel, from inter-channel PMD, i.e., PMD among different channels, showing their relative impact on system performance in the nonlinear regime. A simple yet effective description of intra-channel PMD is proposed, which helps identify the PMD realizations giving the best/worst performance in the nonlinear regime. We show that on average PMD improves the performance of dispersion-managed links by reducing both nonlinear interactions among signals and nonlinear phase noise, while it has no effect in non-dispersion managed links.