High-capacity short-reach optical communications

University dissertation from KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: The global traffic is experiencing an exponential growth posing severe challenges to the communication networks in terms of capacity. As a future-proof technology fiber communication is widely implemented in different network segments, which can be categorized by transmission distance as long-haul and short-reach. This thesis focuses on the short-reach communication networks including fiber access network connecting the end users to the metro/core networks that covering tens of kilometers and optical datacenter network handling the traffic within the datacenter with distance up to a few kilometers. For fiber access networks, wavelength division multiplexing passive optical networks (WDM-PONs) assign a dedicated wavelength channel to each user guaranteeing high data rate. Dense channels enlarges the user count but makes the signals vulnerable to the wavelength drift. In this regard we propose two schemes based on optical frequency comb technique to generate stable carriers for WDM-PONs. Meanwhile, radio-over-fiber techniques allows the transmission of radio signals between central offices and the cells. Millimeter wave (MMW) over fiber, on the other hand, offer high bandwidth for future high capacity mobile access. We propose and experimentally demonstrate a palm-shaped spectrum generation where the high-power central carrier can be used for upstream transmission while multiple MMW bands are capable of transmitting different downstream data simultaneously. Regarding optical datacenter networks, passive optical interconnects (POIs) have been proposed as an energy-efficient solution since only passive optical components are used for server interconnection. However, the high insertion loss may result in a scalability problem. We develop a methodology that considers various physical-layer aspects, e.g., receiver types, modulation formats, to quantify the scalability of POIs. Both theoretical analyses and experimental measurements have been performed to assess the scalability of various coupler-based POIs.