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Opt Express. 2011 Feb 28;19(5):4280-93. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.004280.

Performance evaluation of intensity modulated optical OFDM system with digital baseband distortion.

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Network and Transmission Lab, Acreo AB, Electrum 236, Kista, Sweden.


Bit-Error-Ratio (BER) of intensity modulated optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) system is analytically evaluated accounting for nonlinear digital baseband distortion in the transmitter and additive noise in the photo receiver. The nonlinear distortion that is caused by signal clipping and quantization is taken into consideration. The signal clipping helps to overcome the system performance limitation related to high peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR) of the OFDM signal and to minimize the value of optical power that is required for achieving specified BER. The signal quantization due to a limited bit resolution of the digital to analog converter (DAC) causes an optical power penalty in the case when the bit resolution is too low. By introducing an effective signal to noise ratio (SNR) the optimum signal clipping ratio, system BER and required optical power at the input to the receiver is evaluated for the OFDM system with multi-level quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) applied to the optical signal subcarriers. Minimum required DAC bit resolution versus the size of QAM constellation is identified. It is demonstrated that the bit resolution of 7 and higher causes negligibly small optical power penalty at the system BER=10⁻³ when 256-QAM and a constellation of lower size is applied. The performance of the optical OFDM system is compared to the performance of the multi-level amplitude-shift keying (M-ASK) system for the same number of information bits transmitted per signal sample. It is demonstrated that in the case of the matched receiver the M-ASK system outperforms OFDM and requires 3-3.5 dB less of optical power at BER=10⁻³ when 1-4 data bits are transmitted per signal sample.

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