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For 10-Gb/s transmission over nondispersion shifted fiber, the combined use of self-phase modulation (SPM) and joint optimization of the bias and modulation voltages to increase the dispersion limited transmission distance is considered for multiple quantum well Mach-Zehnder modulators. For the dual drive (push-pull) modulation format, the dependence of the receiver sensitivity on fiber length and average transmitted optical power is determined for both conventional and /spl pi/ phase-shift modulators with either symmetric or asymmetric Y-branch waveguides. When SPM is negligible and the optical extinction ratio is maximized, the modulator design must he considered carefully in order to increase the transmission distance. By combining SPM and optimum modulation conditions, the dependence of the system performance on the modulator design is reduced substantially. For an average transmitted optical power of 12.5 dBm, the receiver sensitivity for transmission over 140 km of fiber varies by only 0.3 dB for the different modulator designs. This compares with a variation of 3.1 dB for maximum extinction ratio modulation.
Date of Publication: May 2000