Abstract

The FEC limit paradigm is the prevalent practice for designing optical communication systems to attain a certain bit error rate (BER) without forward error correction (FEC). This practice assumes that there is an FEC code that will reduce the BER after decoding to the desired level. In this paper, we challenge this practice and show that the concept of a channel-independent FEC limit is invalid for soft-decision bit-wise decoding. It is shown that for low code rates and high-order modulation formats, the use of the soft-decision FEC limit paradigm can underestimate the spectral efficiencies by up to 20%. A better predictor for the BER after decoding is the generalized mutual information, which is shown to give consistent post-FEC BER predictions across different channel conditions and modulation formats. Extensive optical full-field simulations and experiments are carried out in both the linear and nonlinear transmission regimes to confirm the theoretical analysis.

© 2015 OAPA

PDF Article

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription