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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 18, Iss. 13 — Jun. 21, 2010
  • pp: 14129–14143
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Design of arrayed-waveguide grating routers for use as optical OFDM demultiplexers

Arthur James Lowery  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 18, Issue 13, pp. 14129-14143 (2010)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.18.014129


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Abstract

All-optical OFDM uses optical techniques to multiplex together several modulated lightsources, to form a band of subcarriers that can be considered as one wavelength channel. The subcarriers have a frequency separation equal to their modulation rate. This means that they can be demultiplexed without any cross-talk between them, usually with a Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT), implemented optically or electronically. Previous work has proposed networks of optical couplers to implement the DFT. This work shows that the topology of an Arrayed Grating Waveguide Router (AWGR) can be used to perform the demultiplexing, and that the AWGR can be considered as a serial-to-parallel converter followed by a DFT. The simulations show that the electrical bandwidths of the transmitter and receiver are critical to orthogonal demultiplexing, and give insight into how crosstalk occurs in all-optical OFDM and coherent-WDM systems using waveforms and spectra along the system. Design specifications for the AWGR are developed, and show that non-uniformity will lead to crosstalk. The compensation of dispersion and the applications of these techniques to ‘coherent WDM’ systems using Non-Return to Zero modulation is discussed.

© 2010 OSA

1. Introduction

Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) [1

1. S. B. Weinstein, “The history of orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing [History of Communications],” IEEE Commun. Mag. 47(11), 26–35 (2009). [CrossRef]

] allows the spectra of many subcarriers to be partially overlapped, so that a very high spectral efficiency can be achieved [2

2. R. W. Chang, “High-speed multichannel data transmission with bandlimited orthogonal signals,” Bell Syst. Tech. J. 45, 1775–1796 (1966).

]. Optical implementations of OFDM using digital signal generation divide the data amongst many tens of subcarriers, using Fourier transforms to generate then detect these subcarriers [3

3. A. J. Lowery and J. Armstrong, “Orthogonal-frequency-division multiplexing for dispersion compensation of long-haul optical systems,” Opt. Express 14(6), 2079–2084 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

6

6. I. B. Djordjevic and B. Vasic, “Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing for high-speed optical transmission,” Opt. Express 14(9), 3767–3775 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. All-optical OFDM [7

7. A. Sano, E. Yamada, H. Masuda, E. Yamazaki, T. Kobayashi, E. Yoshida, Y. Miyamoto, R. Kudo, K. Ishihara, and Y. Takatori, “No-guard-interval coherent optical OFDM for 100-Gb/s long-haul WDM transmission,” J. Lightwave Technol. 27(16), 3705–3713 (2009). [CrossRef]

], or Coherent WDM [8

8. A. D. Ellis and F. C. G. Gunning, “Spectral density enhancement using coherent WDM,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17(2), 504–506 (2005). [CrossRef]

], use optical couplers to combine a few modulated subcarriers, with the subcarrier spacing set to be equal to the modulation rate of each subcarrier, and the data symbols synchronized in time [9

9. S. Chandrasekhar and X. Liu, “Experimental investigation on the performance of closely spaced multi-carrier PDM-QPSK with digital coherent detection,” Opt. Express 17(24), 21350–21361 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. At the receiver, these subcarriers have been demultiplexed using optical filters [8

8. A. D. Ellis and F. C. G. Gunning, “Spectral density enhancement using coherent WDM,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17(2), 504–506 (2005). [CrossRef]

, 10

10. K. Yonenaga, A. Sano, E. Yamazaki, F. Inuzuka, Y. Miyamoto, A. Takada, and T. Yamada, “100 Gbit/s all-optical OFDM transmission using 4 x 25 Gbit/s optical duobinary signals with phase-controlled optical sub-carriers,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (San Diego, CA, 2008), paper JThA48.

], extremely-high sampling rate oscilloscopes followed by digital processing [11

11. A. Sano, E. Yamada, H. Masuda, E. Yamazaki, T. Kobayashi, E. Yoshida, Y. Miyamoto, S. Matsuoka, R. Kudo, K. Ishihara, Y. Takatori, M. Mizoguchi, K. Okada, K. Hagimoto, H. Yamazaki, S. Kamei, and H. Ishii, “13.4-Tb/s (134x111-Gb/s/ch) no-guard-interval coherent OFDM transmission over 3,600 km of SMF with 19-ps average PMD,” in 34th European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) (2008), paper Th.3.E.1.

], or optical processing [12

12. K. Takiguchi, M. Oguma, T. Shibata, and T. Takahashi, “Optical OFDM demultiplexer using Silica PLC based optical FFT circuit,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (San Diego, CA, 2009), paper OWO3.

, 13

13. K. Lee, C. T. D. Thai, and J.-K. K. Rhee, “All optical discrete Fourier transform processor for 100 Gbps OFDM transmission,” Opt. Express 16(6), 4023–4028 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

].

Chandrasekhar and Liu [9

9. S. Chandrasekhar and X. Liu, “Experimental investigation on the performance of closely spaced multi-carrier PDM-QPSK with digital coherent detection,” Opt. Express 17(24), 21350–21361 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] have recently investigated the design requirements for systems using a few subcarriers per wavelength, with electronic signal processing to separate the subcarriers. Their experiments confirmed that the OFDM condition (the modulation baud rate, when no cyclic prefix nor guard bands are used, equals the subcarrier spacing and the modulation of the subcarriers is time-aligned) gives a local optimum for received signal quality whilst maintaining a high spectral efficiency. To obtain low cross-talk between the demultiplexed subcarriers, the receiver required four-times oversampling and fractionally-spaced equalizers. A five subcarrier system was also studied, using a standard 0.5-nm optical band-pass filter for subcarrier separation. This arrangement led to a floor in the Bit Error Ratio (BER) versus Optical Signal to Noise Ratio (OSNR) characteristic.

Chandrasekhar and Liu’s work leads to the open question of whether a custom-designed optical filter may provide improved performance; that is, ideally zero penalty due to adjacent-channel crosstalk, as obtained when using electronic Fourier transforms. Other groups have approached the issue by designing optical-analogs of the Fourier transform. In 2002, Sanjoh, Yamada and Yoshikuni [14

14. H. Sanjoh, E. Yamada, and Y. Yoshikuni, “Optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing using frequency/time domain filtering for high spectral efficiency up to 1 bit/s/Hz,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (Anaheim, CA, 2002), paper ThD1, pp. 401–402.

] proposed a network of a splitter, an array of delays and phase shifts, a coupler and a gate (sampler) to demultiplex one orthogonal channel of an orthogonal wavelength-division multiplexed system, and demonstrated a 2-channel system using an unbalanced Mach-Zehnder Interferometer. In 2008, Lee, Thai and Rhee [13

13. K. Lee, C. T. D. Thai, and J.-K. K. Rhee, “All optical discrete Fourier transform processor for 100 Gbps OFDM transmission,” Opt. Express 16(6), 4023–4028 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] simulated a multi-channel all-optical discrete Fourier transform processor and demonstrated that perfect demultiplexing of four 25-Gbit/s QPSK channels is possible. Their system proposed a network of delay lines, optical splitters, phase shifts and optical combiners to implement the discrete Fourier transform (DFT), with individual outputs for each subcarrier. Although these optical arrangements provide a continuous output, based on the values of the input signal at discrete equally-separated times, this output needs to be sampled to recover the data [14

14. H. Sanjoh, E. Yamada, and Y. Yoshikuni, “Optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing using frequency/time domain filtering for high spectral efficiency up to 1 bit/s/Hz,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (Anaheim, CA, 2002), paper ThD1, pp. 401–402.

]. In their paper, Lee, Thai and Rhee suggest that an Arrayed Waveguide Grating Router (AWGR) could be used to implement their proposed DFTs, with the addition of “time delay waveguides at the single wavelength ports of an AWG WDM and a power combiner…” [13

13. K. Lee, C. T. D. Thai, and J.-K. K. Rhee, “All optical discrete Fourier transform processor for 100 Gbps OFDM transmission,” Opt. Express 16(6), 4023–4028 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Other authors have proposed and demonstrated systems using an optical time-lens for Fourier transformation [15

15. S. Kumar and D. Yang, “Optical implementation of orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing using time lenses,” Opt. Lett. 33(17), 2002–2004 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]; optical fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) at the transmitter to form an OFDM waveform from short pulses [16

16. R. Llorente, J. H. Lee, R. Clavero, M. Ibsen, and J. Marti, “Orthogonal wavelength-division-multiplexing technique feasibility evaluation,” J. Lightwave Technol. 23(3), 1145–1151 (2005). [CrossRef]

], or FBGs at the transmitter and receiver to form then demultiplex an OFDM signal [17

17. H. Chen, M. Chen, and S. Xie, “All-optical sampling orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing scheme for high-speed transmission system,” J. Lightwave Technol. 27(21), 4848–4854 (2009). [CrossRef]

]; an optical coupler to implement a 2-point transform [18

18. Y.-K. Huang, D. Qian, R. E. Saperstein, P. N. Ji, N. Cvijetic, L. Xu, and T. Wang, “Dual-polarization 2x2 IFFT/FFT optical signal processing for 100-Gb/s QPSK-PDM all-optical OFDM,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (San Diego, CA, 2009), paper OTuM4.

]; or a silica Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC) to implement a Cooley-Tukey [19

19. J. W. Cooley and J. W. Tukey, “An algorithm for the machine calculation of complex Fourier series,” Math. Comput. 19(90), 297–301 (1965). [CrossRef]

] Fast-Fourier Transform topology that uses fewer phase shifters and couplers [12

12. K. Takiguchi, M. Oguma, T. Shibata, and T. Takahashi, “Optical OFDM demultiplexer using Silica PLC based optical FFT circuit,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (San Diego, CA, 2009), paper OWO3.

, 20

20. K. Tanaka and S. Norimatsu, “Transmission performance of WDM/OFDM hybrid systems over optical fibers,” Electron. Commun. Japan Part 90(10), 14–24 (2007). [CrossRef]

]. Demultiplexing of a 160-Gbit/s polarization-multiplexed OFDM signal using an 8-point FFT was experimentally demonstrated in 2010 by Takiguchi et al. [21

21. K. Takiguchi, M. Oguma, H. Takahashi, and A. Mori, “PLC-based eight-channel OFDM demultiplexer and its demonstration with 160 Gbit/s signal reception,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (San Diego, CA, 2010), paper OThB4.

]. Simultaneously, Hillerkuss et al. have reported a rearranged combination of a parallel-to-serial converter and a 4-point optical Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) to demonstrate real time processing of optical OFDM waveforms at 392 Gbit/s [22

22. D. Hillerkuss, A. Marculescu, J. Li, M. Teschke, G. Sigurdsson, K. Worms, S. Ben-Ezra, N. Narkiss, W. Freude, and J. Leuthold, “Novel optical fast Fourier transform scheme enabling real-time OFDM at 392 Gbit/s and beyond,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (San Diego, CA, 2010), paper OWW3.

]. The same group has recently experimentally implemented one channel of an 8-point optical FFT to demultiplex 18 Gbaud/s channels from 10 Tbit/s line rates [23

23. D. Hillerkuss, T. Schellinger, R. Schmogrow, M. Winter, T. Vallaitis, R. Bonk, A. Marculescu, J. Li, M. Dreschmann, J. Meyer, S. B. Ezra, N. Narkiss, B. Nebendahl, F. Parmigiani, P. Petropoulos, B. Resan, K. Weingarten, T. Ellermeyer, J. Lutz, M. Moller, M. Huebner, J. Becker, C. Koos, W. Freude, and J. Leuthold, “Single source optical OFDM transmitter and optical FFT receiver demonstrated at line rates of 5.4 and 10.8 Tbit/s,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (San Diego, CA, 2010), paper PDPC1.

] and give a detailed analysis of their methods including a general proof of how a 2n-point FFT can be “unraveled” for easier implementation as a planar circuit [24

24. D. Hillerkuss, M. Winter, M. Teschke, A. Marculescu, J. Li, G. Sigurdsson, K. Worms, S. Ben Ezra, N. Narkiss, W. Freude, and J. Leuthold, “Simple all-optical FFT scheme enabling Tbit/s real-time signal processing,” Opt. Express 18(9), 9324–9340 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

].

This paper concentrates on how to design OFDM demultiplexers for closely-spaced subcarriers using Arrayed-Waveguide Grating Router (AWGR) [25

25. C. Dragone, “An N*N optical multiplexer using a planar arrangement of two star couplers,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 3(9), 812–815 (1991). [CrossRef]

, 26

26. M. K. Smit and C. Van Dam, “PHASAR-based WDM-devices: Principles, design and applications,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 2(2), 236–250 (1996). [CrossRef]

] topology. The aim is to be able to demultiplex the subcarriers without cross-talk; to make maximum use of the orthogonality of the transmitted carriers. The simulations in this paper show that an AWGR could be used to achieve this perfect demultiplexing. The AWGR has the advantage that it may be simpler to fabricate and phase-control than an arrangement of couplers as used in above DFT and FFT implementations, particularly if all channels are to be demultiplexed at once. The simulations show that the electrical bandwidth of the modulation and the receivers is critical to maintaining orthogonality; this is illustrated using eye diagrams which show the mechanism for crosstalk. The effect of non-uniformity of the AWGRs is investigated, and then the bandwidth requirements for a system carrying 120 Gbit/s are simulated. Finally, the compensation of dispersion and the applications of these techniques to coherent-WDM systems are discussed.

2. Theory of optical OFDM

Figure 1
Fig. 1 Typical all-optical OFDM system. The receivers can be direct-detection for NRZ, or coherent receivers, shown here, generating inphase (I) and quadrature (Q) electrical signals, from which the data in a QPSK signal can be decoded.
shows one wavelength channel of a typical all-optical OFDM system [9

9. S. Chandrasekhar and X. Liu, “Experimental investigation on the performance of closely spaced multi-carrier PDM-QPSK with digital coherent detection,” Opt. Express 17(24), 21350–21361 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. This comprises a number of lasers; each is modulated with a separate optical modulator, before the outputs of the modulators are combined with a coupler. An alternative to discrete lasers is to use a single laser source that is then strongly modulated to form a comb of laser lines [27

27. A. D. Ellis, F. C. G. Gunning, B. Cuenot, T. C. Healy, and E. Pincemin, “Towards 1TbE using Coherent WDM,” in Opto-Electronics and Communications Conference, 2008 and the 2008 Australian Conference on Optical Fibre Technology, OECC/ACOFT, (2008), pp. 1–4.

]. These are then demultiplexed, and each line becomes the input to a separate modulator. This ‘comb’ approach has the advantage that the lines of the comb are phase locked to one another (though this is not necessary for OFDM) and so lie on a well-controlled frequency grid, which can be locked to the modulating data’s rate. Ellis and Gunning [8

8. A. D. Ellis and F. C. G. Gunning, “Spectral density enhancement using coherent WDM,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17(2), 504–506 (2005). [CrossRef]

] have shown that phase locking between the subcarriers is desirable in Non-Return-to-Zero (NRZ) systems; however, Chandrasekhar and Liu [9

9. S. Chandrasekhar and X. Liu, “Experimental investigation on the performance of closely spaced multi-carrier PDM-QPSK with digital coherent detection,” Opt. Express 17(24), 21350–21361 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] show this is unimportant in QPSK-modulated systems. This discrepancy will be considered in the discussion in Section 5. The combined signal is transmitted over the fiber plant, which may include optical amplifiers and dispersion-compensation modules. At the receiver, a demultiplexer filter is used, and the demultiplexed subcarriers are fed to separate receivers. These receivers can use differential QPSK detection, or can be coherent, so the phase modulation appears as inphase and quadrature waveforms. Coherent receivers capture the full optical field [28

28. E. Ip, A. P. Lau, D. J. Barros, and J. M. Kahn, “Coherent detection in optical fiber systems,” Opt. Express 16(2), 753–791 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], so digital signal processing can be used to compensate residual dispersion, or the full dispersion of the link, including PMD [29

29. H. Bulow, F. Buchali, and A. Klekamp, “Electronic Dispersion Compensation,” J. Lightwave Technol. 26(1), 158–167 (2008). [CrossRef]

].

Conditions for orthogonality

The conditions for orthogonality of subcarriers (the OFDM condition) impose requirements on the transmitter and the receiver. The problem is one of designing the transmitter waveform so that the receiver can separate the sub-carriers without interference. The most common system is for each subcarrier to have an integer number of periods within an OFDM symbol [31

31. S. B. Weinstein and P. M. Ebert, “Data transmission frequency-division multiplexing using the discrete Fourier transform,” IEEE Trans. Commun. Technol. 19(5), 628–634 (1971). [CrossRef]

]. This is achieved when the subcarriers are each centered on a frequency grid, with the grid spacing equal to the inverse of the OFDM symbol’s duration (neglecting cyclic prefixes that are added to the symbol).

To send useful data, the phase (and/or amplitude) of each subcarrier must be modulated. This modulation produces phase and/or amplitude transitions between the OFDM symbols, as shown in Fig. 2
Fig. 2 The waveforms of the two individual subcarriers, which, when added contribute to an OFDM signal. Each waveform has an integer number of periods within an OFDM symbol. The phases of the waveforms carry the data. Left – four sample points, A – D, can be used to distinguish between the red and teal waveforms, if weighted then summed appropriately. Right – to decode the second symbol correctly, the quadrature component of the teal waveform is required, otherwise the sample points will all return a zero value.
, which presents the real part of the modulation for two subcarrier frequencies. The subcarriers are represented as separate waveforms for the purposes of this illustration, though they are combined for transmission to produce a complicated non-sinusoidal waveform. They have also been frequency-shifted to baseband, to reduce the number of cycles in each waveform. Many all-optical OFDM systems consider the transmitter in great detail, but use a simple optical filter to demultiplex the subcarriers. Chandrasekhar and Liu simulated and experimentally evaluated the performance of such systems. The use of a simple optical filter can be partially mitigated using electronic signal processing, but this requires multiple samples per bit to achieve effective correction.

The method by which the signal is received is also important if the transmitted signal’s orthogonality is to be useful in eliminating crosstalk between subcarriers. Continuing with Fig. 2, if the inphase and quadrature components of the received waveform are sampled N times during each OFDM symbol, it is possible to completely distinguish between N subcarriers, and also detect each subcarrier’s phase and amplitude. For example, in Fig. 2, consider four equally-spaced samples, A, B, C, D of the first symbol. These four samples form a sampling window. The lower (‘red’) subcarrier would produce samples with + + − − values: the upper (‘teal’) subcarrier would produce samples with + − + − values. Thus by weighting the samples, then adding them, it is possible to differentiate between the subcarriers; for example, the sum Pteal = A − B + C − D would detect the ‘teal’ subcarrier of the first symbol, completely rejecting the ‘red’ subcarrier. Looking at the second OFDM symbol in the left graph, Pteal would be zero, because the samples fall on the zero-crossings of the teal waveform. Fortunately, the when the same sampling instants are applied to the quadrature (or imaginary-component) of the teal subcarrier (not shown), they produce a non-zero result, indicating a phase of 90°.

Figure 3
Fig. 3 Left – similar to Fig. 2, but the sample points have been delayed by one sample. In this case, the teal and red waveforms cannot be completely distinguished by weighting and summing the samples. Right – the lower trace shows a slow phase transition between adjacent OFDM symbols. This again means that subcarriers cannot be completely distinguished.
can be used to illustrate some important requirements for the OFDM condition. For example, if the samples were delayed in time by one sample, so that sample D becomes sample C, and sample D now falls at the beginning of the second symbol, giving sample values for the red-waveform of + − − −, then the sum Pteal = A − B + C − D is no longer zero when applied to the red waveform. This means that information in the red waveform has leaked into the detector for the teal waveform, so the waveforms are no longer orthogonal. This introduces the condition that: “the sampling window must not include a phase transition”. This allows some drift of the sampling instants: if the phase transitions are instantaneous, this drift can be up to half the period between samples.

Another important point is that the phase transitions must be fast enough so as not to affect the value of the samples (particularly samples A and D). Figure 3, Right, shows an example using our simplified waveforms, but shifted 90-degrees. The top waveform is for the red subcarrier with a fast transition: The sum Pteal = A − B + C − D will produce a null output, as desired, because the magnitudes of all of the samples are equal. The bottom waveform is for a slow transition, which has lowered the magnitude of sample D. The sum Pteal = A − B + C − D now produces a non-zero output, indicating leakage between channels. In this example, the transition must be substantially complete between two consecutive samples, if the sampling is instantaneous. In Fourier transform theory, it is well known that non-uniform windowing of waveforms (reducing the magnitude of some samples) will cause leakage between adjacent frequency components.

Forming the sum of the samples

The examples in Figs. 2 and 3 used weights of + 1 and −1 when forming the sum of the samples. More generally, these weights are phase shifts applied to the inphase (‘real’) and quadrature (‘imaginary’) components of the complex received signal waveform, Vin. The sum of the samples is typically written as a discrete Fourier transform (DFT), giving a complex-valued output, Vsc,k, carrying the amplitude and phase subcarrier k:
Vsc,k=m=0N1Vin(m).exp(2πjkmN)
(1)
where: Vin(m) is the value of the complex input waveform at sample points m = 1,2…N-1, where N is the number of subcarriers. Because the samples are being continually updated as the input waveform arrives at the receiver, the sum of the samples, hence the estimate of Vsc,k, is also being updated, that is, it is a continuous waveform. If the interval between samples is ΔT, Eq. (1) can be rewritten as:

Vsc,k(t+(N1).ΔT)=m=0N1Vin(t+m.ΔT).exp(2πjkmN)
(2)

This received signal waveform, Vin, could be derived from the baseband signal obtained from a homodyne optical coherent receiver. Equation (2) can be implemented in the optical or electrical domains. In the electrical domain, it could be formed using heterodyne detection (using an RF mixer) and an integrator based on an analog electrical filter, or an integrate and dump circuit. More commonly Eq. (2) is evaluated at discrete times [14

14. H. Sanjoh, E. Yamada, and Y. Yoshikuni, “Optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing using frequency/time domain filtering for high spectral efficiency up to 1 bit/s/Hz,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (Anaheim, CA, 2002), paper ThD1, pp. 401–402.

], using digital computation, which processes discrete samples of the input waveform. As outlined in the Introduction, many authors have suggested optical networks to form the sum of the samples.

3. The AWGR as a DFT

Lee, Thai and Rhee’s [13

13. K. Lee, C. T. D. Thai, and J.-K. K. Rhee, “All optical discrete Fourier transform processor for 100 Gbps OFDM transmission,” Opt. Express 16(6), 4023–4028 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] suggestion that an Arrayed Waveguide Grating Router [26

26. M. K. Smit and C. Van Dam, “PHASAR-based WDM-devices: Principles, design and applications,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 2(2), 236–250 (1996). [CrossRef]

] could be used to implement their proposed DFTs, with the addition of “time delay waveguides at the single wavelength ports of an AWG WDM and a power combiner…” neglects an important equivalence between a standard AWGR (followed by samplers) and the DFT, which is illustrated in Fig. 4
Fig. 4 Equivalence of an AWGR (top) and a DFT as represented by (bottom) a parallel-to-serial converter followed by a matrix of splitters (Split.), phase-shifts, and combiners (Comb.). The matrix of splitters, phase shifts, combiners and samplers implement a Discrete Fourier Transform. The samplers can either be electrical or optical.
. The top of this Fig. shows an AWGR [26

26. M. K. Smit and C. Van Dam, “PHASAR-based WDM-devices: Principles, design and applications,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 2(2), 236–250 (1996). [CrossRef]

] with, from left to right, an input slab coupler, an array of grating waveguides, an output slab coupler and optical (or electronic) samplers. The lower part of Fig. 4 shows the equivalent signal processing representation of the AWGR with the functions of, left to right, a splitter, an array of time delays, a matrix of phase shifts surrounded by splitters and couplers, and samplers. The equivalences will now be described left to right. The notation of Madsen and Zhao [32

32. C. K. Madsen, and J. H. Zhao, Optical Filter Design and Analysis: A signal processing approach (Wiley, New York, 1999).

] is used.

AWGR input slab coupler

The AWGR input slab serves as the power splitter in the signal processing equivalent. With correct placement and design of the input waveguide, the input waveguide will illuminate all the grating waveguides with an equal phase. By designing the waveguide tapers of the waveguides using simulation, the coupling of power to from the input to each grating waveguide will be reasonably uniform [33

33. K. Okamoto, K. Takahashi, M. Yasu, and Y. Hibino, “Fabrication of a wavelength-insensitive 8x8 star coupler,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 4(1), 61–63 (1992). [CrossRef]

]. The required degree of uniformity will be discussed later. Alternatively, a multi-mode interference (MMI) coupler [34

34. L. Soldano, F. Veerman, M. K. Smit, B. Verbeek, and E. Pennings, “Multimode interference couplers,” in Integrated Photonics Research, (Monteray, CA, 1991), paper TuD1.

] could be used.

AWGR grating waveguides

AWGR output slab coupler

The outputs of the grating waveguides, label m, are presented to the output slab coupler, which implements a matrix of phase shifts, surrounded by splitters and couplers. The phase shifts implement the exponential term in Eq. (1); the couplers implement the summation for each subcarrier frequency, and present the result for each subcarrier at the outputs of the AWGR. Ideally all paths from any grating waveguide to any output have the same loss. Again, by proper design of the waveguide tapers, it is possible to make the loss reasonably uniform. Alternatively, a multimode-interference coupler could be used [35

35. L. O. Lierstuen and A. Sudbo, “8-channel wavelength division multiplexer based on multimode interference couplers,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 7(9), 1034–1036 (1995). [CrossRef]

].

Many AWGR designs [26

26. M. K. Smit and C. Van Dam, “PHASAR-based WDM-devices: Principles, design and applications,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 2(2), 236–250 (1996). [CrossRef]

] use a Rowland Circle (RC) configuration [36

36. H. G. Beutler, “The theory of the concave grating,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 35(5), 311–350 (1945). [CrossRef]

] for the slab couplers (see Fig. 4). This means the arrayed grating waveguides terminate on a circular boundary of the slab, radius, R, while the output waveguides terminate on a circular boundary of radius R/2 (the Rowland Circle). The RC circle is co-tangential with the large circle at the centre of the arrayed waveguides, called the ‘pole’. The distance between any input (from the arrayed waveguides) and output, AP, is given by a rather complex expression (Eq. (9) of [36

36. H. G. Beutler, “The theory of the concave grating,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 35(5), 311–350 (1945). [CrossRef]

]), which can be approximated to the following expression ([F 1] of [36

36. H. G. Beutler, “The theory of the concave grating,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 35(5), 311–350 (1945). [CrossRef]

]) if the spacing between the chosen grating waveguide and the pole, w, is small compared with R:
APrwsinθ
(4)
where θ is the angle from the pole to the output waveguide and r is the distance from the pole to the chosen output waveguide. This path length introduces a phase delay dependent on the originating arrayed waveguide and the receiving output waveguide. Because r and θ are fixed for any chosen output guide, and d increments from one arrayed waveguide to the next, it is possible to implement a set of linearly-decreasing phase shifts between any arrayed waveguide and any output. Poguntke and Soole [37

37. K. R. Poguntke and J. B. D. Soole, “Design of a multistripe array grating integrated cavity (MAGIC) laser,” J. Lightwave Technol. 11(12), 2191–2200 (1993). [CrossRef]

] provide a simpler analysis than [36

36. H. G. Beutler, “The theory of the concave grating,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 35(5), 311–350 (1945). [CrossRef]

] by defining the problem to two dimensions, which is appropriate for integrated optics.

Madsen and Zhao [32

32. C. K. Madsen, and J. H. Zhao, Optical Filter Design and Analysis: A signal processing approach (Wiley, New York, 1999).

] provide the following equation (Chapter 4, Eq. (28), lower) to describe the second slab coupler of the AWGR as a matrix of transmission coefficients between the outputs of the arrayed waveguides (label m) and the outputs of the AWGR (label n, which carries the signal of a subcarrier, k). A similar expression is also provided by Gholipour and Faraji-Dana [38

38. A. Gholipour and R. Faraji-Dana, “Nonuniform arrayed waveguide gratings for flat-top passband transfer function,” J. Lightwave Technol. 25(12), 3678–3685 (2007). [CrossRef]

]. The phase factors for each element of the matrix are:
θm,n=2π.m.nsdλRn.do
(5)
Where: ns is the effective index of the slab, d is the spacing (pitch) of the grating waveguides as they enter the output slab, λ is the centre wavelength of the system, R is the focal length of the grating array as used in the RC derivation (e.g. from the output of any grating waveguide to the central output waveguide), d o is the pitch of the output waveguides at the output-side of the output slab.

By comparing Eq. (5) to the phase term (the argument of the exponential) in Eq. (1), we can choose appropriate values for the design of the AWGR. Note that the negative sign in Eq. (1) can be neglected because the phase factors in Eq. (5) are delays, so should be negative. For example, for d = do = 25 μm, the focal length should be around 2.5 mm in Silica.

Samplers

Because each output of the AWGR is the weighted sum of four successive samples of the input, it implements Fourier transform operating on discrete samples in time; however, the inputs and outputs are continuous waveforms. Thus, it is a sliding (or running) Discrete Fourier Transform (Eq. (2) where the time increments between successive transforms are infinitesimally small. As discussed in Section 2, the output will only be valid if all samples are within the same OFDM symbol. This requires that the output of the AWGR be sampled [14

14. H. Sanjoh, E. Yamada, and Y. Yoshikuni, “Optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing using frequency/time domain filtering for high spectral efficiency up to 1 bit/s/Hz,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (Anaheim, CA, 2002), paper ThD1, pp. 401–402.

], either in the optical or electrical domains, for example, at time E as shown in Fig. 5. In the following simulations, the sampling is assumed to be performed electrically. The sampling is assumed instantaneous, though the effect of any baseband bandwidth limitation (such as a sampler with a slow gate) will be investigated in Section 5.

4. System example

The four-subcarrier system shown in Fig. 1 was simulated to illustrate the performance of the method and the effect of various practical limitations using VPItransmissionMaker v. 7.6. Each subcarrier was generated by modulating a separate zero-linewidth laser with QPSK data, using a model of a complex optical modulator made from two Mach-Zehnder modulators. The lasers were at frequencies of 193.10, 193.11, 193.12 and 193.13 THz. The modulators were modeled as being linear (voltage to optical field), which can be approximated in reality using very low-level drive signals. Electrical filters (4th-order Bessel) were placed before the modulators to represent their limited bandwidths. The simulation bandwidth was 160 GHz, giving 16 simulation time samples per OFDM symbol. The data rate per subcarrier was 20 Gbps, and the baud rate was 10 Gbaud. Neither a cyclic prefix nor a guard band was used. This gives a total payload rate of 80 Gbps, or 160 Gbps if polarization-division multiplexing were to be used [39

39. S. L. Jansen, I. Morita, and H. Tanaka, “16x52.5-Gb/s, 50-GHz spaced, POLMUX-CO-OFDM transmission over 4,160 km of SSMF enabled by MIMO processing,” in ECOC 2007, (Berlin, 2007), paper PD 1.3.

]. Higher rates can also be obtained by using amplitude and phase coding of the data, such as 16-QAM [40

40. A. D. Ellis, “Modulation formats which approach the Shannon limit,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (San Diego, CA, 2009), paper OMM4.

].

The demultiplexer as implemented as in Fig. 4, but with the optical samplers replaced by models of balanced-homodyne coherent receivers followed by electrical samplers. The time-delay increment between two adjacent arrayed waveguides (ΔT) was 25 ps, or one-quarter of the FFT window duration. Each output of the slab coupler was simulated by combining outputs of the arrayed waveguides with appropriate phase shifts (Eq. (5) and loss (where specified). The coherent receivers have local oscillator lasers at frequencies equal to the transmitter lasers’ frequencies, and thus produce baseband inphase (I) and quadrature (Q) signals at their outputs. These were band-limited, using 4th-order Bessel filters then sampled, with the sampling point optimized to give the highest quality outputs signal for each simulation. The I, Q sample plots can be plotted as and X,Y graph to give a constellation or their statistic analyzed to give a signal quality, Q, value from which the Bit Error Ratio (BER) can be estimated.

Optical spectra along the system

Eye diagrams at the outputs of the coherent receivers

Figure 7
Fig. 7 Inphase (I) and Quadrature (Q) eye diagrams out of the high-bandwidth coherent receiver for Channel 1: left – only Channel 1 transmitted; middle – all four channels transmitted; right – all channels except Channel 1 transmitted (interferers only).
shows the Inphase (I, red) and Quadrature (Q, yellow) eye diagrams out of the coherent receiver for Channel 1. The left-most plots are for when only Ch. 1 is being transmitted. The maximum eye opening occurs over approximately 20% of the one OFDM symbol period. This opening corresponds to when all four samples of the FFT are within one OFDM symbol. The middle plot shows the effect of adding Ch. 2, 3 and 4. The eye is again open for approximately 20% of the OFDM symbol; however, at other times there is random interference from the other channels. The eye diagram on the right shows the effect of transmitting Ch. 2, 3 and 4, but not the desired channel. The flat-lines, where the eye was most open in the left and middle plots, confirms that Ch. 2, 3 and 4 produce no interference on Ch. 1 during approximately 10% of the symbol.

Sampling of the outputs of the coherent receivers

To convert the I and Q waveforms into data symbols, they must be sampled once per OFDM symbol. The sampling window must only be ‘open’ during the open part of the eye. The output of a sampler can be plotted on a constellation diagram, shown in Fig. 8
Fig. 8 Typical constellation obtained by sampling the I and Q waveforms from a coherent receiver: left, 40 GHz electrical bandwidths; right – 10 GHz electrical bandwidths.
. This plots the imaginary (Q) sample against the real (I) sample on a Cartesian graph. The plotted samples lie in one of four quadrants for 4-QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation). The degradation of the signal can be estimated by the spread of the sample points. A quantitative measure is q, where q = mean-value-squared/variance in either the x- or the y-coordinate. The samplers are then followed by thresholders, to produce digital bits representing the I and Q signals. These can then be decoded into 2-bits per channel per OFDM symbol, typically using a Gray code to minimize errors from a single threshold error. If the spread along one axis is Gaussian, the Bit Error Ratio (BER) after thresholding can be estimated from BER = (0.5)erfc(q/√2). More often a dB quality value is used, where Q(dB) = 20.log10(q) using these definitions. For example, when Q = 9.8 dB the BER will be 10−3.

Figure 8 shows typical constellations. The constellation on the left is for a system with 40-GHz 4th-order Bessel filters before the modulator and after the photodiodes. The location of the bandwidth limitation is unimportant in a linear system, such as this. In practice it will be the product of all of the transfer functions of all of the baseband devices along the system, including modulator drivers, modulators, photodiodes, preamplifiers and the input stages of the samplers. The Q value is >40 dB, indicating negligible cross-talk between subcarriers and an extremely-low BER. For comparison, the Q obtained when only one channel was transmitted was 60 dB. As a Q of greater than 40 dB would also require an optical signal to noise ratio of the same order, the crosstalk in these systems would have a negligible impact on systems performance in all but the shortest of systems. Such systems could support a very-high QAM constellation, allowing at least 8-bits per symbol to be transmitted. The constellation on the right is for a system with 40-GHz 4th-order Bessel filters before the modulator and after the photodiodes. The new optimum sample time is changed by the delay of the filters: the optimum was found by sweeping the sampling instant across the eye. The Q-value has dropped to 13 dB for the outer channels. This would only just support an 8-QAM system with 3-bits/symbol, but realistically, added amplifier noise would reduce the Q further.

As the constellations indicate, lowering the transmitter and/or the receiver bandwidths increases crosstalk between the channels. This is because the interference occurring before the open parts of the eye is spread into the open eye by the long transient responses of the electrical filters. This can be explained by taking the transmitter as an example, though because the system is linear, this same effect will occur due to any bandwidth restrictions at any point along the system before the sampling. Figure 9
Fig. 9 Eye diagrams for the 1-component from Channel 1’s receiver: left, 10 GHz electrical bandwidths; right – 30 GHz electrical bandwidths.
shows eye for 10-GHz and 30 GHz electrical bandwidths (applied at the transmitters and receivers). There is a large closure in the eye for a 10-GHz electrical bandwidth, giving a Q of 13 dB. The eight-vertical mini-eyes between the main eyes indicate that the interference is deterministic; that is, it is caused by the cross-talk between the channels. Noise-driven eye closure would not have this distinct feature. The information in the mini-eyes also suggests that the main eye could be opened by electronic signal processing including sampling of the mini-eyes, which is well known in communications engineering. Increasing the electrical bandwidth to 30-GHz opens up the main eye, giving a Q of >35 dB if the sampling is instantaneous. Interestingly, the higher-bandwidth also allows sharper and higher peaks between the open eyes. It is these peaks that are smeared into the eye for the lower-bandwidth system. Electrical bandwidths of 20-GHz give a respectable Q of 20 dB. Chen et al. [17

17. H. Chen, M. Chen, and S. Xie, “All-optical sampling orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing scheme for high-speed transmission system,” J. Lightwave Technol. 27(21), 4848–4854 (2009). [CrossRef]

] have shown that a cyclic prefix will extend the duration of the open eye and Hillerkuss et al. [22

22. D. Hillerkuss, A. Marculescu, J. Li, M. Teschke, G. Sigurdsson, K. Worms, S. Ben-Ezra, N. Narkiss, W. Freude, and J. Leuthold, “Novel optical fast Fourier transform scheme enabling real-time OFDM at 392 Gbit/s and beyond,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (San Diego, CA, 2010), paper OWW3.

] have used this to mitigate bandwidth-limited modulation.

Effect of AWGR non-uniformity

AWGRs for demultiplexing are generally designed so that the pass-band loss is low. This requires that the array of grating waveguides is wide enough to capture most of the input power traversing the first slab coupler. Thus the far-field of the input waveguide must be narrower than the array of waveguides. This implies that the outer guides of the array of waveguides will receive less power than the central guides, as it is impossible to achieve a beam with a sharp transition from its peak to its null [32

32. C. K. Madsen, and J. H. Zhao, Optical Filter Design and Analysis: A signal processing approach (Wiley, New York, 1999).

]. For our FFTs to maintain orthogonality, the power transmission from AWGR input to AWGR output via any of the waveguides should be equal. For a 4-waveguide device, the only design specification for uniformity, assuming some symmetry, is the difference between the powers traversing the AWGR via the outer waveguides relative to the power in the central waveguides. The following simulations show how this non-uniformity affects the Q of the outer and inner channels, due to crosstalk (a reduction in orthogonality).

Figure 10
Fig. 10 Effect AWGR uniformity, defined as the loss of light traversing via the outer arrayed waveguides relative to the loss of light via the inner waveguides. The label is the electrical bandwidth of the transmitter and the receiver. The Q’s of all four channels are plotted.
plots the Q’s for the four channels against AWGR power non-uniformity for 3 electrical bandwidths. Each bandwidth produces two sets of lines, corresponding to the inner (2, 3) and outer (1, 4) channels. The inner channels generally suffer the most crosstalk, whether caused by reduced electrical bandwidths or AWGR non-uniformity. From this plot, a non-uniformity of 1 dB would be acceptable for all but the highest constellation sizes. To confirm that crosstalk is the main cause of signal degradation when the grating is not uniform, the simulations were re-run with only one transmitter active. The Q was extremely high (>60 dB) for all values of grating non-uniformity.

Effect of limiting the total optical bandwidth

For wavelength management in a WDM system, it is likely that groups of subcarriers, each group carrying 120 Gbit/s for example, would be wavelength-multiplexed using standard optical filters, with a guard-band between each group of carriers to remove crosstalk between the groups. The following simulation investigates the effect of the bandwidth of the standard optical filter on a group. Figure 11
Fig. 11 Effect of WDM demultiplexer filter bandwidth on a 3-channel system capable of carrying 60 Gbps/polarization.
plots the received signal quality verses the FWHM bandwidth of a 5th-order Gaussian-shaped demultiplexing filter. Three subcarriers were transmitted, which would give a data rate of 60 Gbps per polarization using 4-QAM. Consider the top 3 traces, which are for wide-bandwidth (40 GHz) electrical filters. With a 50-GHz demultiplexer filter, the central channel ( + ) suffers the most degradation, because it collects crosstalk from both its neighbors: with a 30-GHz demultiplexer filter, the outer channels (Δ, ○) are most affected, because their spectra are truncated. The same cross-over occurs when the electrical bandwidths are reduced to 20-GHz ( × , ∇, ○); however, the Q is reduced overall. The results in Fig. 11 indicate that a system with high-bandwidth transmitters and receivers would give good performance with cascades of wavelength-selective switches, which typically have an optical bandwidth of around 35 GHz.

5. Discussion

These simulations have shown that a standard AWGR, albeit with fewer waveguides and a narrower free-spectral range, can be used to perfectly demultiplex subcarriers within an optical-OFDM system, provided that the electrical bandwidths within the transmitter and receiver are comparable with the overall bandwidth of the combined subcarriers. The AWGR acts as a serial to parallel converter, followed by a matrix of phase shifts, which is exactly what is used in a digital-electronics implementation of a DFT. The transmitter bandwidth could be artificially improved by overdriving the modulators, so they square-up signals, and receiver bandwidth could be lowered by using optical sampling. The AWGR also needs to be designed to have reasonably uniform transmission, whichever path the light takes through it.

Compensation of dispersion

One might suspect that fiber chromatic dispersion should be compensated before the AWGR demultiplexer, otherwise the four channels’ phase transitions would become misaligned due to the differential group delay of the fiber, so the OFDM condition would be broken. Because the system is linear, this is not the case, and the dispersion compensation can be moved to beyond the demultiplexer. Furthermore, because the coherent receivers perform a linear translation of optical field to electric field, the dispersion compensation can be performed in the RF domain, using, for example analog filters. If the signal is sampled many times per symbol, then the bandwidth of the optical signals is preserved, and the compensation can be performed in the digital domain [7

7. A. Sano, E. Yamada, H. Masuda, E. Yamazaki, T. Kobayashi, E. Yoshida, Y. Miyamoto, R. Kudo, K. Ishihara, and Y. Takatori, “No-guard-interval coherent optical OFDM for 100-Gb/s long-haul WDM transmission,” J. Lightwave Technol. 27(16), 3705–3713 (2009). [CrossRef]

]. Unfortunately, sampling only once per symbol causes aliasing, which means the outer edges of the signal spectrum are folded back into the main body of the spectrum. Because the outer edges suffer greater group delays than the body of the spectrum, then, after aliasing, no single value of group delay could be applied to a particular frequency that will compensate dispersion both in the outer edges and the body, as they are now indistinct. Thus dispersion compensation will be imperfect with 1-bit/sample for OFDM.

Application to NRZ formats

Further simulations showed that this design is also applicable to NRZ modulation formats as using in “Coherent WDM” systems [8

8. A. D. Ellis and F. C. G. Gunning, “Spectral density enhancement using coherent WDM,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17(2), 504–506 (2005). [CrossRef]

], which use direct-detection receivers. Interestingly, there is a paradox between systems optical-OFDM (or Coherent WDM) that use QPSK (“all-optical OFDM” [10

10. K. Yonenaga, A. Sano, E. Yamazaki, F. Inuzuka, Y. Miyamoto, A. Takada, and T. Yamada, “100 Gbit/s all-optical OFDM transmission using 4 x 25 Gbit/s optical duobinary signals with phase-controlled optical sub-carriers,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (San Diego, CA, 2008), paper JThA48.

] or “Zero Guard Band OFDM” 7) and NRZ systems (“Coherent WDM” [41

41. A. D. Ellis, F. C. G. Gunning, and T. Healy, “Coherent WDM: the achievement of high information spectral density through phase control within the transmitter,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (Anaheim, CA, 2006), paper OThR4.

]). This is that phase-control of each subcarrier is critical for the performance of NRZ systems, whereas the phase of each subcarrier is modulated in the QPSK systems, so cannot be optimized, except within a 90° range. Simulations using NRZ modulation showed that inter-subcarrier interference produces intensity peaks that can be moved from close to the region of the open eye, to between the open eyes, by adjusting the subcarriers’ phases. In systems with reduced electrical bandwidths, it is desirable to advance these interference peaks in time, so that even after the spreading of their energy due to the transient response of the electrical filters, their energy will not encroach on the open part of the eye. Thus there will be an optimum relative phase between the subcarriers as demonstrated by Ellis and Gunning [8

8. A. D. Ellis and F. C. G. Gunning, “Spectral density enhancement using coherent WDM,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 17(2), 504–506 (2005). [CrossRef]

].

6. Conclusion

Acknowledgements

I should like to thank VPIphotonics (www.vpiphotonics.com) for the use of their simulator, VPItransmissionMakerWDM V7.6. This work is supported under the Australian Research Council’s Discovery funding scheme (DP1096782).

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K. Takiguchi, M. Oguma, T. Shibata, and T. Takahashi, “Optical OFDM demultiplexer using Silica PLC based optical FFT circuit,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (San Diego, CA, 2009), paper OWO3.

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39.

S. L. Jansen, I. Morita, and H. Tanaka, “16x52.5-Gb/s, 50-GHz spaced, POLMUX-CO-OFDM transmission over 4,160 km of SSMF enabled by MIMO processing,” in ECOC 2007, (Berlin, 2007), paper PD 1.3.

40.

A. D. Ellis, “Modulation formats which approach the Shannon limit,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (San Diego, CA, 2009), paper OMM4.

41.

A. D. Ellis, F. C. G. Gunning, and T. Healy, “Coherent WDM: the achievement of high information spectral density through phase control within the transmitter,” in Conference on Optical Fiber Communication, OFC, (Anaheim, CA, 2006), paper OThR4.

OCIS Codes
(060.4080) Fiber optics and optical communications : Modulation
(060.4510) Fiber optics and optical communications : Optical communications

ToC Category:
Fiber Optics and Optical Communications

History
Original Manuscript: April 29, 2010
Revised Manuscript: June 8, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: June 9, 2010
Published: June 16, 2010

Citation
Arthur James Lowery, "Design of arrayed-waveguide grating routers for use as optical OFDM demultiplexers," Opt. Express 18, 14129-14143 (2010)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-18-13-14129


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References

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