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Opt Express. 2011 Aug 15;19(17):16680-96. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.016680.

MIMO capacities and outage probabilities in spatially multiplexed optical transport systems.

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  • 1Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent, 791 Holmdel-Keyport Rd., Holmdel, New Jersey 07733, USA.


With wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) rapidly nearing its scalability limits, space-division multiplexing (SDM) seems the only option to further scale the capacity of optical transport networks. In order for SDM systems to continue the WDM trend of reducing energy and cost per bit with system capacity, integration will be key to SDM. Since integration is likely to introduce non-negligible crosstalk between multiple parallel transmission paths, multiple-input multiple output (MIMO) signal processing techniques will have to be used. In this paper, we discuss MIMO capacities in optical SDM systems, including related outage considerations which are an important part in the design of such systems. In order to achieve the low-outage standards required for optical transport networks, SDM transponders should be capable of individually addressing, and preferably MIMO processing all modes supported by the optical SDM waveguide. We then discuss the effect of distributed optical noise in MIMO SDM systems and focus on the impact of mode-dependent loss (MDL) on system capacity and system outage. Through extensive numerical simulations, we extract scaling rules for mode-average and mode-dependent loss and show that MIMO SDM systems composed of up to 128 segments and supporting up to 128 modes can tolerate up to 1 dB of per-segment MDL at 90% of the system's full capacity at an outage probability of 10(-4).

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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