Abstract

Advances in semiconductor lasers, guided wave modulators, avalanche photodetectors, and high-speed electronics together with improvements in the optical fibers themselves have resulted in a sustained factor-of-2 per year growth in the performance of optical fiber communications systems. Transmission systems operating at 2 Gbit/s are now commercial products and laboratory record 4Gbit/s systems1,2 reported only one year ago are now replaced by systems operating at 8 Gbit/s.3,4 Even these advanced systems however make use of less than one-tenth of 1 % of the low-loss single-mode fiber window between 1.3 and 1.5 μm. We discuss the fundamental limitations to this bit rate advance as well as the current technical obstacles which must be overcome along the way to reaching these limits.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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References

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