The design of cost-effective terabit capacity optical networks are typically constrained by the requirement for multiple laser sources for WDM systems, or very stable ultra short pulses sources for OTDM. Consequently multi-level modulation formats appear essential [1], However, performance against noise and nonlinearities are usually compromised. We believe that a balance between capacity per source and transmission performance can be achieved by using Coherent WDM (CoWDM) [2], a technique that offers capacities per laser similar to OTDM and dispersion tolerance similar to WDM systems, whilst also maintaining a high spectral efficiency (~1bit/s/Hz).

© 2007 IEEE

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