OSA's Digital Library

Journal of Optical Communications and Networking

Journal of Optical Communications and Networking

  • Editors: K. Bergman and V. Chan
  • Vol. 1, Iss. 5 — Oct. 1, 2009
  • pp: 439–451

Impact of LED Nonlinearity on Discrete Multitone Modulation

Beril Inan, S. C. Jeffrey Lee, Sebastian Randel, Ioannis Neokosmidis, Antonius M. Koonen, and Joachim W. Walewski  »View Author Affiliations

Journal of Optical Communications and Networking, Vol. 1, Issue 5, pp. 439-451 (2009)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (650 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



In the context of communications based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs), spectrally efficient modulation has been considered for overcoming their limited bandwidth, and one scheme under investigation is quadrature-amplitude modulation on discrete multitones. The dependence of the output optical power on the driving current of practical LEDs is nonlinear, which distorts the transmitted signal. We investigate the impact of the nonlinear LED transfer function, i.e., the dependence of the emitted optical power on the driving current, on discrete multitone modulation. The effect incurred by this distortion was analyzed by using detailed numerical simulations addressing the impact of clipping, individual subcarriers, signal-to-noise ratio, and bit-error ratio. The approach was generalized to describe the impact of the nonlinearity of arbitrary LEDs and laser diodes, resulting in a powerful tool for assessing the impact of the nonlinearity on the link performance. This approach was applied to three types of LED, showing anything from a minuscule effect to the case in which error-free data transmission is made impossible by the transfer-function nonlinearity.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(060.4510) Fiber optics and optical communications : Optical communications
(230.3670) Optical devices : Light-emitting diodes
(060.2605) Fiber optics and optical communications : Free-space optical communication

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: June 11, 2009
Revised Manuscript: August 20, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: August 20, 2009
Published: September 18, 2009

Beril Inan, S. C. Jeffrey Lee, Sebastian Randel, Ioannis Neokosmidis, Antonius M. Koonen, and Joachim W. Walewski, "Impact of LED Nonlinearity on Discrete Multitone Modulation," J. Opt. Commun. Netw. 1, 439-451 (2009)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. F. G. Gfeller and U. Bapst, “Wireless in-house data communication via diffuse infrared radiation,” Proc. IEEE , vol. 67, no. 11, pp. 1474-1486, 1979. [CrossRef]
  2. “Infrared Data Association (IrDA),” http://www.irda.org.
  3. G. Fettweis, R. Irmer, P. Zillmann, U. Barth, E. Kühn,K. Strohm, R. Kraemer, E. Grass, G. Tränkle, U. Trautwein,W. Wirnitzer, A. Kaufmann, L. Schwoerer, H.-J. Reumerman,M. Weckerle, E. Schulz, P. Egner, and G. Hiertz, “System concept for 1 Gbit/s and beyond,”ieee802.org/802_tutorials/nov05/Fettweis_WIGWAM_IEEE_Tutorial_Nov_2005_final.pdf, Nov. 2005.
  4. S. C. J. Lee, J. W. Walewski, S. Randel, F. Breyer, H. P. A. van den Boom, and A. M. J. Koonen, “Discrete multitone for novel application areas of optical communications,” in 2008 Dig. IEEE/LEOS Summer Topical Meetings, Acapulco, Mexico, July 21-23, 2008, pp. 163-164.
  5. R. Narasimhan, M. D. Audeh, and J. Kahn, “Effect of electronic-ballast fluorescent lighting on wireless infrared links,” in IEEE Int. Conf. on Communications, 1996. ICC 96, Conf. Rec., Converging Technologies for Tomorrow's Applications, Dallas, TX, June 23-27, 1996, vol. 2, pp. 1213-1219.
  6. D. O'Brien, L. Zeng, H. Le-Minh, G. Faulkner, S. Randel, J. Walewski, J. Borges, K. Langer, J. Grubor, K. Lee, and E. Won, “Visible-light communications,” in Short-Range Wireless Communications: Emerging Technologies and Applications. R.Kraemer and M.Katz, eds. New York, NY: Wiley, 2009.
  7. O. Bouchet, M. Tabach, M. Wolf, D. O'Brien, G. Faulkner, J. Walewski, S. Randel, M. Franke, S. Nerreter, K. Langer, J. Grubor, and T. Kamalakis, “Hybrid wireless optics (HWO): building the next-generation home network,” in 6th Int. Symp. on Communication Systems, Networks and Digital Signal Processing, 2008. CNSDSP 2008, Gratz, Austria, July 25-25, 2008, pp. 283-287.
  8. E. T. Won, “Request for a VLC interest group,” presented at 51st Meeting of the IEEE 802.15 Working Group, Atlanta, GA, Nov. 11-16, 2007, https://mentor.ieee.org/802.15/file/07/15-07-0911-00-wng0-request-vlc-interest-group.ppt.
  9. K. D. Langer, J. Vucic, C. Kottke, L. F. Rosal, S. Nerreter, and J. W. Walewski, “Advances and prospects in high-speed information broadcast using phosphorescent white-light LEDs,” in 11th Int. Conf. on Transparent Optical Networks, 2009. ICTON '09, Azores, Portugal, June 28-July 2, 2009, pp. 1-6.
  10. J. Grubor, K. Langer, J. Walewski, and S. Randel, “High-speed wireless indoor communication via visible light,” ITG Fachbericht , vol. 198, pp. 203-208, 2007.
  11. P.Golden, H.Dedieu, and K.S.Jacobsen, eds., Implementation and Applications of DSL Technology. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2007.
  12. J. Armstrong and B. Schmidt, “Comparison of asymmetrically clipped optical OFDM and DC-biased optical OFDM in AWGN,” IEEE Commun. Lett. , vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 343-345, 2008. [CrossRef]
  13. J. H. van Vleck and D. Middleton, “The spectrum of clipped noise,” Proc. IEEE , vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 2-19, 1966. [CrossRef]
  14. D. J. G. Mestdagh, P. Spruyt, and B. Biran, “Analysis of clipping effect in DMT-based ADSL systems,” in IEEE Int. Conf. on Communications, 1994. ICC '94, SUPERCOMM/ICC '94, Conf. Rec., “Serving Humanity Through Communications”, New Orleans, LA, May 1-5, 1994, vol. 1, pp. 293-300, 1994.
  15. T. P. Lee, “The nonlinearity of double-heterostructure LED's for optical communications,” Proc. IEEE , vol. 65, no. 9, pp. 1408-1410, 1977. [CrossRef]
  16. Y. Tang, W. Shieh, X. Yi, and R. Evans, “Optimum design for RF-to-optical up-converter in coherent optical OFDM systems,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. , vol. 19, no. 7, pp. 483-485, 2007. [CrossRef]
  17. A. Chorti and M. Brookes, “On the effects of memoryless nonlinearities on M-QAM and DQPSK OFDM signals,” IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. , vol. 54, no. 8, pp. 3301-3315, 2006. [CrossRef]
  18. C.-L. Liu, “The effect on nonlinearity on a QPSK-OFDM-QAM signal,” IEEE Trans. Consumer Electron. , vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 443-447, 1997.
  19. J. E. Mazo and N. F. Frigo, “On a method for calculating the strength of intermodulation distortion and products,” IEEE Trans. Commun. , vol. 42, nos. 2/3/4, pp. 1475-1477, 1994. [CrossRef]
  20. I. Neokosmidis, T. Kamalakis, J. W. Walewski, B. Inan, and T. Sphicopoulos, “Impact of nonlinear LED transfer function on discrete multi-tone modulation: analytical approach,” J. Lightwave Technol., to be published.
  21. B. Inan, S. C. J. Lee, S. Randel, I. Neokosmidis, A. M. J. Koonen, and J. W. Walewski, “The impact of LED transfer function nonlinearity on high-speed optical wireless communications based on discrete-multitone modulation,” in Nat. Fiber Optic Engineers Conf., San Diego, CA, OSA Technical Digest (CD), Washington, DC: Optical Society of America, March 22, 2009, paper JThA52.
  22. S. Lee, F. Breyer, S. Randel, O. Ziemann, H. van den Boom, and A. Koonen, “Low-cost and robust 1-Gbit/s plastic optical fiber link based on light-emitting diode technology,” in Optical Fiber Communication Conf. and Expo. and The Nat. Fiber Optic Engineers Conf., San Diego, California, OSA Technical Digest (CD), Washington, DC: Optical Society of America, Feb. 24, 2008, paper OWB3.
  23. J. M. Tang and K. Shore, “Maximizing the transmission performance of adaptively modulated optical OFDM signals in multimode-fiber links by optimizing analog-to-digital converters,” J. Lightwave Technol. , vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 787-798, 2007. [CrossRef]
  24. S. C. J. Lee, F. Breyer, S. Randel, H. P. A. van den Boom, and A. M. J. Koonen, “High-speed transmission over multimode fiber using discrete multitone modulation,” J. Opt. Netw. , vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 183-196, 2008. [CrossRef]
  25. C. Tellambura, “Computation of the continuous-time PAR of an OFDM signal with BPSK subcarriers,” IEEE Commun. Lett. , vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 185-187, 2001. [CrossRef]
  26. J. Grubor, J. Lee, K. D. Langer, A. M. J. Koonen, and J. W. Walewski, “Wireless high-speed data transmission with phosphorescent white-light LEDs,” in 33rd European Conf. and Exhibition on Optical Communication, Berlin, Germany, Sept. 16-20, 2007, postdeadline paper no. PD3.6.
  27. J. W. Walewski is preparing a manuscript to be called “Inference of nonlinear transfer function calibration curves by use of orthogonal polynomials.”
  28. J. Kragten, “Least-squares polynomial curve-fitting for calibration purposes (statcal-calibra),” Anal. Chim. Acta , vol. 241, pp. 1-13, 1990. [CrossRef]
  29. T. Mizuochi, Y. Miyata, T. Koayashi, K. Ouchi, K. Kuno, K. Kubo, K. Shimizu, H. Tagami, H. Yoshida, H. Fujita, M. Akita, and K. Motshima, “Forward error correction based on block turbo code with 3-bit soft decision for 10-gb/s optic communication systems,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. , vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 376-386, 2004. [CrossRef]
  30. Agilent Technologies, “8 hints for making and interpreting EVM measurements,” Application Note, 2005, http://cp.literature.agilent.com/litweb/pdf/5989-3144EN.pdf.
  31. R. Lyons, Understanding Digital Signal Processing. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2004.
  32. B. Le, T. W. Rondeau, J. H. Reed, and C. W. Bostian, “Analog-to-digital converters,” IEEE Signal Process. Mag. , vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 69-77, 2005. [CrossRef]
  33. The MathWorks, “The BERTool environment,” 2009, http://www.mathworks.com/access/helpdesk/help/toolbox/comm/index.html?/access/helpdesk/help/toolbox/comm/ug/a1058558627b1.html.
  34. C. J. Henderson, B. Robertson, D. G. Leyva, T. D. Wilkinson, D. C. O'Brien, and G. E. Faulkner, “Control of a free-space adaptive optical interconnect using a liquid-crystal spatial light modulator for beam steering,” Opt. Eng. , vol. 44, no. 7, p. 075401, 2005. [CrossRef]
  35. R. Ramirez-Iniguez, S. Idrus, and Z. Sun, Optical Wireless Communications--IR for Wireless Connectivity, 1st ed. Boca Raton, FL: Auerbach, 2008, vol. 6.

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

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