Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) is a technique to upgrade installed lightwave systems and allows for optical networking functionalities. The requirements on stability of light sources, filters, and other optical components is such that a channel spacing of 200 GHz is emerging as a viable solution. In this context, increasing the throughput leads to an increase of either the single-channel bit-rate or the total occupied bandwidth. In the first case, the achievable distance will quickly become limited by the fiber polarization mode dispersion (PMD), decreasing as the square of the bit-rate. The second case leads to an increase of the number of channels with the use of flat-gain optical amplifiers.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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