Abstract

In a long-haul optical fiber communication system, fiber attenuation, dispersion, and nonlinearity combined with nondeterministic noise from optical amplifiers used for periodic regeneration cause adverse effects on system performance. Several optical and electrical signal processing techniques have been proposed, and implemented to extract the transmitted data; some provide better performance than others, but at a cost of higher computational complexity. We present a modified nonlinear decision feedback equalizer designed for use in a legacy optical communication system with periodic dispersion compensation. The effects of noise and nonlinearity on the equalizer coefficients are investigated, and a suboptimal convergence algorithm to reduce such effects is proposed and verified. Our equalizer provides performance comparable to that obtained using digital backpropagation, while being computationally simpler, compensating linear and nonlinear physical impairment effects effectively even at high power levels where fiber nonlinearity is significant. Performance prediction of the designed DFE is also discussed, using a numerical method, with and without error propagation.

© 2015 IEEE

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