A wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) access system can be used in two basic ways: user multiplexing, which assigns a wavelength to each user, and service multiplexing, which assigns a wavelength to each service. In current designs for service multiplexing, each optical network unit (ONU) must have a demultiplexer that can select any wavelength. This paper proposes a new WDM access system that uses one demultiplexer shared by many ONUs to offer optical-distribution access services. This system realizes significant cost reductions due to its passive optical network (PON) architecture, high capacity due to its WDM technology, and easy wiring through the use of multimode fiber (MMF). As one of the realization approaches of the shared demultiplexer, we explain the principle and configuration of a shared demultiplexer based on diffraction theory, and present theoretical and experimental analyses of a prototype 4 × (4 × 4) shared demultiplexer whose configuration is based on Littrow mounting. Experimental transmission performances demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed WDM access system.
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