Frequency Comb-Based WDM Transmission Systems Enabling Joint Signal Processing
Journal article, 2018
We review the use of optical frequency combs in wavelength-division multiplexed (WDM) fiber optic communication systems. In particular, we focus on the unique possibilities that are opened up by the stability of the comb-line spacing and the phase coherence between the lines. We give an overview of different techniques for the generation of optical frequency combs and review their use in WDM systems. We discuss the benefits of the stable line spacing of frequency combs for creating densely-packed optical superchannels with high spectral efficiency. Additionally, we discuss practical considerations when implementing frequency-comb-based transmitters. Furthermore, we describe several techniques for comb-based superchannel receivers that enables the phase coherence between the lines to be used to simplify or increase the performance of the digital carrier recovery. The first set of receiver techniques is based on comb-regeneration from optical pilot tones, enabling low-overhead self-homodyne detection. The second set of techniques takes advantage of the phase coherence by sharing phase information between the channels through joint digital signal processing (DSP) schemes. This enables a lower DSP complexity or a higher phase-noise tolerance.
digital signal processing (DSP)
fiber optic communication
optical frequency comb