We propose a transmission fiber for mode-division-multiplexed transmission with multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) digital signal processing supporting four and six linearly polarized (LP) modes over the C + L band. We show numerically that a graded-index core can flexibly tune the differential mode group delay (DMD) and a cladding trench can flexibly control the guiding mode number. We optimized the spacing of the core and trench. Accordingly, we can achieve a few-mode operation of more than two LP modes and low DMD while preventing the high-refractive index difference that leads to manufacturing difficulties and any loss increase. Finally, we successfully fabricated fibers for use in a C + L band WDM-MDM transmission with MIMO DSP, and realized a transmission fiber with a total absolute DMD of less than 40 ps/km for four-LP mode operation and of less than 70 ps/km for six-LP mode operation over the entire C + L band.
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