Abstract

A design approach to optimizing the bandwidth of optical data links while simultaneously decreasing the bit-error rate is proposed. Mathematical analysis indicates that bandwidth gains by factors of 10–60 with power gains of as much as 8.9 dB are possible. To achieve these performance levels requires several innovations. First, conventional forward error-correcting codes cannot be used because of their excessive hardware cost. A reasonably powerful multidimensional parity-based error-control code is proposed and analyzed. These codes offer excellent error detection and moderate error-correction capabilities. Most importantly, they can operate at the fast clock rates that are required. Second, a hybrid automatic-repeat-request protocol is exploited to correct complex error patterns. In thermal-noise-limited systems this unique combination allows the optical clock rate to be increased significantly, thereby resulting in large bandwidth increases. The proposed design approach can be used in optical data links in which propagation delays are moderate and is applicable to fibers that exploit wavelength-division multiplexing or time-division multiplexing, one-dimensional parallel-fiber ribbons, and two-dimensional optical data links that use free space or guided waves. Several design examples are illustrated.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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