The transmission bandwidth of a single-mode optical fiber is Immense. For example, at the wavelength of minimum dispersion (λ ≃1.3 μm) it is possible in theory to send a 100-Gbit/sec signal over a 100-km fiber with a 10−9 error probability.1 Furthermore, wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) techniques can be used to increase the total Information-carrying capacity of a fiber almost without limit. To explore this vast information capacity, lightwave research is driven to make available fibers, lasers, photodetectors, and other components that satisfy the stringent requirements for multigigabit per second transmission. System experiments are conducted to demonstrate feasibility and provide understanding of how device behavior affects system performance.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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