The impact of phase to amplitude noise conversion for QPSK, 16-QAM, and 64-QAM coherent optical systems are investigated with electronically-compensated chromatic dispersion (CD). The electronic equalizer is shown to convert the phase noise from the local oscillator (LO) to amplitude noise, limiting the amount of CD that can ideally be compensated digitally. The simulation results demonstrate that the performance of coherent systems can significantly be degraded with digitally compensated CD and LO phase noise. The maximum tolerable LO linewidth is also investigated for the different modulation formats and found to become increasingly stringent for longer transmission distance and higher symbol rate.
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