Abstract

Coherent wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technologies have leveraged the optical communication systems in core networks, increasing the fiber capacity by transmission with advanced modulation formats and mitigation of impairments with digital signal processing. However, these solutions are too expensive for access networks, where cost, power budget, and footprint are limited. Hence, the key technology will be developing low-cost coherent transceivers providing an excellent selectivity and giving high sensitivity, which allows high splitting ratios. This paper reports an experimental design of a low-cost coherent ultra-dense WDM passive optical network (UDWDM-PON) with 6.25 GHz channel spacing. The users’ optical network unit (ONU) is built employing coherent transceivers with two paired low-cost distributed feedback (DFB) lasers, one as the local oscillator and another as the transmitter, offering simplicity and low-cost hardware; likewise, the optical line terminal (OLT) at the central office can profit from the same design. The ONU DFB lasers have wavelengths with limited thermal tunability, controlled by a thermo-electric cooler, which is used to allocate the wavelengths. A medium access control (MAC) at the OLT manages the spectrum channel allocation for ONUs, demanding connection when activation is requested: the OLT furnishes an optical carrier wavelength for the ONU to obtain connection by a control algorithm, assigning a down-channel and another paired up-channel assigned to the ONU DFB transmitter. The MAC can reassign the channels because of interference or collision in a dynamic wavelength allocation. Measures in an activation process and in channel reassignment have been performed in environmental conditions, including control signals and the physical parameters of DFB lasers, demonstrating the practical viability of the PON scaling from 32 up to 256 wavelength channels.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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