Fibers with low polarization-mode dispersion (PMD) enable high-bit-rate time-division-multiplexed optical communication systems. These fibers are becoming increasingly important with the growing implementation of wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) transmission with channel bit rates of 40 Gb/s. Important to the realization of low PMD fibers are the fiber's index and stress profiles, polarization-mode coupling, and the evolution of the polarization state with length. This paper reviews recent progress in the understanding of the fabrication and characteristics of these fibers. The paper also discusses the important fiber physical parameters,including the fiber index profile and fiber spinning parameters and their impacts on the realization of low PMD performance.
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