We investigate the performance of sinc-shaped QPSK signal pulses generated in the digital, electrical, and optical domains. To this end an advanced transmitter with a digital pulse-shaper is compared to analog transmitters relying on pulse-shaping with electrical and optical filters, respectively. The signal quality is assessed within a single carrier setup as well as within an ultra-densely spaced WDM arrangement comprising three channels. An advanced receiver providing additional digital filtering with an adaptive equalization algorithm to approximate an ideal brick-wall Nyquist filter has been used for all schemes. It is found that at lower symbol rates, where digital processing is still feasible, digital filters with a large number of filter coefficients provide the best performance. However, transmitters equipped with only electrical or optical pulse-shapers already outperform transmitters sending plain unshaped NRZ signals, so that for higher symbol rates analog electrical and optical techniques not only save costs, but are the only adequate solution.
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