We analyze the orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) technique in long-haul next generation optical communication links and compare it with the well-established single-carrier (SC) data transmission using high-level modulation formats and coherent detection. The analysis of the two alternative solutions is carried out in the 100 Gbps scenario, which is commonly considered to be the next upgrade of existing optical links, with special emphasis on quaternary phase-shift keying (QPSK) modulations. The comparison between OFDM and SC takes into account the main linear and nonlinear impairments of the optical channel, e.g., group velocity dispersion (GVD), polarization mode dispersion (PMD), self-phase modulation (SPM), cross-phase modulation (XPM), and four-wave mixing (FWM), as well as the phase noise due to transmit and receive lasers, their relative frequency offset, other synchronization aspects, the overall complexity, the power and spectral efficiency, and the technological constraints.
© 2010 IEEE
Alan Barbieri, Giulio Colavolpe, Tommaso Foggi, Enrico Forestieri, and Giancarlo Prati, "OFDM versus Single-Carrier Transmission for 100 Gbps Optical Communication," J. Lightwave Technol. 28, 2537-2551 (2010)