The performance of two-dimensional (2-D) time-wavelength (TW) optical code-division multiple access systems at both physical and data link layers is considered in the presence of a multitude of noise sources. Particular consideration is given however to both beat noise (BN) and multiple-access-interference effects. A general procedure for calculating BN is presented. Comparisons between several 2-D TW codes comprising single-pulse-per-column/row and multiple-pulse-per-column/row strategies are performed. Results reveal that BN is strongly dependent on the code properties and the distribution of wavelengths within a code. Several aspects for 2-D TW code design are presented that mitigate the effect of BN.
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