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Maximizing the optical network capacity

Bayvel, P; Maher, R; Xu, T; Liga, G; Shevchenko, NA; Lavery, D; Alvarado, A; (2016) Maximizing the optical network capacity. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences , 374 (2062) 10.1098/rsta.2014.0440. Green open access

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Most of the digital data transmitted are carried by optical fibres, forming the great part of the national and international communication infrastructure. The information-carrying capacity of these networks has increased vastly over the past decades through the introduction of wavelength division multiplexing, advanced modulation formats, digital signal processing and improved optical fibre and amplifier technology. These developments sparked the communication revolution and the growth of the Internet, and have created an illusion of infinite capacity being available. But as the volume of data continues to increase, is there a limit to the capacity of an optical fibre communication channel? The optical fibre channel is nonlinear, and the intensity-dependent Kerr nonlinearity limit has been suggested as a fundamental limit to optical fibre capacity. Current research is focused on whether this is the case, and on linear and nonlinear techniques, both optical and electronic, to understand, unlock and maximize the capacity of optical communications in the nonlinear regime. This paper describes some of them and discusses future prospects for success in the quest for capacity.

Type: Article
Title: Maximizing the optical network capacity
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2014.0440
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2014.0440
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: optical fibre communications, optical nonlinearities, Kerr effect, channel modelling, signal processing, optical networks
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Electronic and Electrical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475478
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