DFT-spread (DFT-S) coherent optical OFDM was numerically and experimentally shown to provide improved nonlinear tolerance over an optically amplified dispersion uncompensated fiber link, relative to both conventional coherent OFDM and single-carrier transmission. Here we provide an analytic model rigorously accounting for this numerical result and precisely predicting the optimal bandwidth per DFT-S sub-band (or equivalently the optimal number of sub-bands per optical channel) required in order to maximize the link non-linear tolerance (NLT). The NLT advantage of DFT-S OFDM is traced to the particular statistical dependency introduced among the OFDM sub-carriers by means of the DFT spreading operation. We further extend DFT-S to a unitary-spread generalized modulation format which includes as special cases the DFT-S scheme as well as a new format which we refer to as wavelet-spread (WAV-S) OFDM, replacing the spreading DFTs by Hadamard matrices which have elements +/−1 hence are multiplier-free. The extra complexity incurred in the spreading operation is almost negligible, however the performance improvement with WAV-S relative to plain OFDM is more modest than that achieved by DFT-S, which remains the preferred format for nonlinear tolerance improvement, outperforming both plain OFDM and single-carrier schemes.
© 2012 OSA
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