OSA's Digital Library

Journal of Lightwave Technology

Journal of Lightwave Technology


  • Vol. 25, Iss. 7 — Jul. 1, 2007
  • pp: 1742–1753

Fundamental Limits of Electronic Signal Processing in Direct-Detection Optical Communications

Michele Franceschini, Giorgio Bongiorni, Gianluigi Ferrari, Riccardo Raheli, Fausto Meli, and Andrea Castoldi

Journal of Lightwave Technology, Vol. 25, Issue 7, pp. 1742-1753 (2007)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (431 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools

  • Export Citation/Save Click for help


Electronic signal processing is becoming very attractive to overcome various impairments that affect optical communications, and electronic dispersion compensation (EDC) represents a typical application in the currently designed systems. However, the inherent limits in performance achievable by electronically processing the signal at the output of a nonlinear photodetector have not received the attention they deserve. In this paper, we investigate the information-theoretic limits of electronic signal processing in transmission systems employing direct photodetection and two possible modulation formats: 1) on–off keying (OOK) with nonreturn-to-zero pulses; and 2) optical duobinary modulation (ODBM). The analysis is based on the computation of the information rate, i.e., the maximum achievable data transfer rate, and accounts for the modulation format as well as relevant parameters of the transmission scheme. In particular, we investigate the impact of sampling rate, uncompensated chromatic dispersion (CD), and quantization resolution of the electrical signal at the output of a direct photodetector. For OOK systems, the obtained results show that the optical signal-to-noise ratio penalty entailed by EDC can be limited to about 2 dB at most values of CD of interest in current applications. Moreover, ODBM systems at high values of CD can almost perform as OOK systems at zero CD. For all the considered modulation formats, the obtained results show that the received electrical signal can be sampled at a rate of two samples per bit interval and quantized with a precision of 3 bits per sample to practically achieve the ultimate performance limits.

© 2007 IEEE

Michele Franceschini, Giorgio Bongiorni, Gianluigi Ferrari, Riccardo Raheli, Fausto Meli, and Andrea Castoldi, "Fundamental Limits of Electronic Signal Processing in Direct-Detection Optical Communications," J. Lightwave Technol. 25, 1742-1753 (2007)

Sort:  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. G. Agrawal, Fiber-Optic Communications Systems (Wiley, 2002).
  2. J. H. Winters, R. D. Gitlin, "Signal processing techniques in long-haul fiber-optic systems," IEEE Trans. Commun. 38, 1439-1453 (1990).
  3. H. Bülow, "Electronic equalization of transmission impairments," Proc. OFC Conf. (2002) pp. 24-25.
  4. V. Curri, R. Gaudino, A. Napoli, P. Poggiolini, "Electronic equalization for advanced modulation formats in dispersion-limited systems ," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 2556-2558 (2004).
  5. C. Xia, W. Rosenkranz, "Performance enhancement for duobinary modulation through nonlinear electrical equalization ," Proc. ECOC (2005) pp. 255-256.
  6. O. E. Agazzi, M. R. Hueda, H. S. Carrer, D. E. Crivelli, "Maximum-likelihood sequence estimation in dispersive optical channels," J. Lightw. Technol. 23, 749-763 (2005).
  7. H. S. Carrer, D. E. Crivelli, M. R. Hueda, "Maximum likelihood sequence estimation receivers for DWDM lightwave systems," Proc. IEEE GLOBECOM (2004) pp. 1005-1010.
  8. H. S. Carrer, M. R. Hueda, D. E. Crivelli, "MLSE-based receivers on DWDM lightwave systems," Proc. 9th ICCS (2004) pp. 573-578.
  9. D. E. Crivelli, H. S. Carrer, M. R. Hueda, "On the performance of reduced-state Viterbi receivers in IM/DD optical transmission systems ," Proc. ECOC (2004) pp. 634-635.
  10. G. Bosco, P. Poggiolini, "Long-distance effectiveness of MLSE IMDD receivers," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 18, 1037-1039 (2006).
  11. T. Foggi, E. Forestieri, G. Colavolpe, G. Prati, "Maximum likelihood sequence detection with closed-form metrics in OOK optical systems impaired by GVD and PMD," J. Lightw. Technol. 24, 3073-3087 (2006).
  12. T. M. Cover, J. A. Thomas, Elements of Information Theory (Wiley, 1991).
  13. D. Arnold, H.-A. Loeliger, "On the information rate of binary-input channels with memory," Proc. IEEE ICC (2001) pp. 2692-2695.
  14. V. Sharma, S. K. Singh, "Entropy and channel capacity in the regenerative setup with applications to Markov channels ," Proc. IEEE ISIT (2001) pp. 283.
  15. H. D. Pfister, J. B. Soriaga, P. H. Siegel, "On the achievable information rates of finite state ISI channels," Proc. GLOBECOM (2001) pp. 2992-2996.
  16. D. Arnold, H. A. Loeliger, P. O. Vontobel, A. Kavcic, W. Zen, "Simulation-based computation of information rates for channel with memory," IEEE Trans. Inf. Theory 52, 3498-3508 (2006).
  17. K. Yonenaga, S. Kuwano, "Dispersion-tolerant optical transmission system using duobinary transmitter and binary receiver ," J. Lightw. Technol. 15, 1530-1537 (1997).
  18. J. Tang, "The Shannon channel capacity of dispersion-free nonlinear optical fiber transmission ," J. Lightw. Technol. 19, 1104-1109 (2001).
  19. E. E. Narimanov, P. Mitra, "The channel capacity of a fiber optics communication system: Perturbation theory," J. Lightw. Technol. 20, 530-537 (2002).
  20. J. Tang, "A comparison study of the Shannon channel capacity of various nonlinear optical fibers ," J. Lightw. Technol. 24, 2070-2075 (2006).
  21. S. Shamai, "On the capacity of a direct-detection photon channel with intertransition-constrained binary input ," IEEE Trans. Inf. Theory 37, 1540-1550 (1991).
  22. J. Li, "On the achievable information rate of asymmetric optical fiber channels with amplifier spontaneous emission noise," Proc. IEEE MILCOM (2003) pp. 124-129.
  23. C. Berrou, A. Glavieux, "Near optimum error correcting coding and decoding: Turbo-codes," IEEE Trans. Commun. 44, 1261-1271 (1996).
  24. I. B. Djordjevic, B. Vasic, M. Ivkovic, I. Gabitov, "Achievable information rates for high-speed long-haul optical transmission," J. Lightw. Technol. 23, 3755-3763 (2005).
  25. E. Forestieri, "Evaluating the error probability in lightwave systems with chromatic dispersion, arbitrary pulse shape and pre- and postdetection filtering," J. Lightw. Technol. 18, 1493-1503 (2000).
  26. R. Ramaswami, K. Sivarajan, Optical Networks (Morgan Kaufman, 2001).
  27. M. Franceschini, G. Ferrari, R. Raheli, G. Bongiorni, "Fundamental limits of electronic dispersion compensation in optical communications with direct photodetection," Electron. Lett. 42, 874-875 (2006).
  28. P. J. Winzer, R. Essiambre, "Advanced optical modulation formats," Proc. IEEE 94, 952-985 (2006).
  29. J. G. Proakis, Digital Communications (McGraw-Hill, 2001).
  30. G. Ferrari, G. Colavolpe, R. Raheli, "A unified framework for finite-memory detection," IEEE J. Sel. Areas Commun. 23, 1697-1706 (2005).
  31. S. M. Ross, Stochastic Processes (Wiley, 1983).
  32. L. R. Bahl, J. Cocke, F. Jelinek, J. Raviv, "Optimal decoding of linear codes for minimizing symbol error rate," IEEE Trans. Inf. Theory IT-20, 284-287 (1974).
  33. E. W. Weistein, "Levenberg–Marquardt method," From MathWorld—A Wolfram Web Resource http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Levenberg-MarquardtMethod.html.
  34. M. R. Hueda, D. E. Crivelli, H. S. Carrer,, "Performance of MLSE-based receivers in lightwave systems with nonlinear dispersion and amplified spontaneous emission noise," Proc. IEEE GLOBECOM (2004) pp. 299-303.
  35. C. Douillard, M. Jezequel, C. Berrou, A. Picart, P. Didier, A. Glavieux, "Iterative correction of intersymbol interference: Turbo-equalization," Eur. Trans. Telecommun. 6, 507-511 (1995).
  36. M. Jager, T. Rankl, J. Speidel, H. Bulow, F. Buchali, "Performance of turbo equalizers for optical PMD channels," J. Lightw. Technol. 24, 1226-1236 (2006).

Cited By

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited