High-Speed Electronic Signal Processing for Pre-Compensation in Optical Communications
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Narrowband optical filtering and chromatic dispersion are two important issues that affect optical fiber transmission performance. Recent technological developments in high-speed digital signal processors, digital-to-analog converters and analog-to-digital converters have enabled the implementation of electronic signal processing (ESP) in optical transmission systems leading to adaptive and cost efficient integrated solutions. This thesis focuses on applying ESP at the transmitter to pre-compensate for narrowband optical filtering and chromatic dispersion. A novel electronic pre-compensation approach was proposed to deal with narrowband optical filtering. The effectiveness was demonstrated by a straight-line experiment and a recirculating loop experiment for 10 Gb/s non-return-to-zero on-off-keying (NRZ-OOK). Moreover, the work was extended to NRZ differential-phase-shift-keying as well as 20 Gb/s NRZ differential-quadrature-phase-shift-keying. Experimental results demonstrate that electronic pre-compensation effectively reduces the degradation in system performance induced by narrowband optical filtering. Electronic dispersion pre-compensation was investigated using a semiconductor InP Mach-Zehnder modulator (MZM) for the NRZ-OOK modulation format at 10.709 Gb/s aiming at providing a cost efficient implementation for core and metro transmission networks. A brute-force method was developed to determine the requisite drive voltages due to the nonlinear voltage dependent attenuation and phase constants of the InP MZM. The transmission results for the recirculating loop and straightline experiments demonstrate that an InP MZM provides comparable dispersion precompensation performance with a conventional LiNbO3 MZM. Use of the NRZ-OOK modulation format and InP MZM provides a simple and cost-efficient solution for core and metro transmission network. Dispersion pre-compensation was also performed for a 85.672 Gb/s polarization multiplexed 16-ary quadrature amplitude modulation (PM-16QAM) modulation format with digital coherent detection and offline digital signal processing. The transmitter was characterized to ensure the quality of the 16QAM signal generation. Simulation results indicate the impact of the modulator bias voltage error on system performance. Recirculating loop experimental results demonstrate that the performance of dispersion pre-compensation is comparable with dispersion post-compensation, thus providing the possibility to combine dispersion pre- and post-compensation for PM-16QAM coherent transmission for further performance improvement.