All-optical interferometric switches for data regeneration in fiber optic networks
Author(s)Savage, Shelby Jay, 1978-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Erich P. Ippen and Scott A. Hamilton.
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In the thirty years since the installation of the first fiber optic data link, data rates in installed fiber links have risen from a few Mb/s to tens of Gb/s. In the laboratory, data rates in a single optical fiber have already reached tens of Tb/s. These data rates greatly exceed electronic processing rates, so researchers have turned to all-optical signal processing to achieve many basic network tasks, like wavelength conversion, packet switching, and data regeneration. As data rates increase, the impairments caused by propagation through the glass of optical fiber become worse. Chromatic dispersion causes the temporal broadening of optical bits during propagation, leading to interference between neighboring bits. Nonlinear effects, like the nonlinear index of refraction and four-wave mixing, can cause interference between neighboring wavelength channels. The interaction of dispersion and nonlinearities can lead to variations in the timing of bits and the appearance of optical energy where there had been none. All these effects make 1-bits and 0-bits difficult to distinguish. Today, these distortions are overcome by electronic regenerators. Optical data streams are converted to electrical signals, processed electronically, converted back to an optical signal, and returned to the optical network. In this way, regenerators prevent the accumulation of noise and prevent noise from contributing to the production of more noise. The electronic solution is costly because of the extra hardware required for optical to electrical to optical conversions and performs poorly because of the losses incurred by those conversions. In this thesis, we investigate two regenerators that restore the data quality of ON/OFF keyed data without a conversion of the data to the electrical domain.(cont..) Both regenerators are based on all-optical switches that take two inputs: the data pulses from the network, and a locally generated clock-pulse train. The all-optical switches then modulate the data pattern onto the clock-pulse train, which becomes the new data stream. The first switch we consider, the WMFUNI, uses the nonlinear properties of fiber to produce the switching action. Using the WMFUNI regenerator, we demonstrate the propagation of 10 Gb/s data over 20,000 km of commercial optical fiber. We also demonstrate the WMFUNI's ability to operate on 40-Gb/s data. Unfortunately, fiber has only a weak nonlinearity, so the WMFUNI is large (~40 cmx40 cm). The second switch uses the much stronger nonlinearity of a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA). SOA-based switches can be integrated onto chip-scale optics. The switch we test, the SOA-MZI, fits on a ~0.5 cmxl cm chip. Using the SOA-MZI regenerator, we demonstrate the propagation of 10 Gb/s data over 10,000 km of commercial optical fiber. We also show in simulation that the SOA-MZI's operation may be extended to 40 Gb/s.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2007.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.