The digital coherent receiver, which is a combination of a phase-diversity optical homodyne receiver and digital signal processing (DSP), can demodulate any multilevel coded optical signals without relying upon an optical phase-locked loop. However, the maximum symbol rate processed by such a receiver is limited by the speed of electric analog-to-digital converters and digital signal processors. Although real-time operation at 10 Gsymbol/s using an application-specific integrated circuit has recently been demonstrated, it is still difficult to increase the symbol rate beyond 40 Gsymbol/s. In order to cope with this difficulty, we propose a novel scheme, which employs a local oscillator (LO) pulsed at the subharmonic frequency of the symbol rate, enabling time-division demultiplexing of the signal at the digital coherent receiver. We demonstrate that the new type of digital coherent receiver operating at 10 Gsymbol/s can demodulate the aggregate symbol rate of 160 Gsymbol/s. From these results, we can expect ultrafast coherent optical fiber communication in the future.
© 2009 IEEEPDF Article