7 March 2016 Power penalties for multi-level PAM modulation formats at arbitrary bit error rates
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Abstract
There is considerable interest in combining multi-level pulsed amplitude modulation formats (PAM-L) and forward error correction (FEC) in next-generation, short-range optical communications links for increased capacity. In this paper we derive new formulas for the optical power penalties due to modulation format complexity relative to PAM-2 and due to inter-symbol interference (ISI). We show that these penalties depend on the required system bit-error rate (BER) and that the conventional formulas overestimate link penalties. Our corrections to the standard formulas are very small at conventional BER levels (typically 1×10-12) but become significant at the higher BER levels enabled by FEC technology, especially for signal distortions due to ISI. The standard formula for format complexity, P = 10log(L-1), is shown to overestimate the actual penalty for PAM-4 and PAM-8 by approximately 0.1 and 0.25 dB respectively at 1×10-3 BER. Then we extend the well-known PAM-2 ISI penalty estimation formula from the IEEE 802.3 standard 10G link modeling spreadsheet to the large BER case and generalize it for arbitrary PAM-L formats. To demonstrate and verify the BER dependence of the ISI penalty, a set of PAM-2 experiments and Monte-Carlo modeling simulations are reported. The experimental results and simulations confirm that the conventional formulas can significantly overestimate ISI penalties at relatively high BER levels. In the experiments, overestimates up to 2 dB are observed at 1×10-3 BER.
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Nikolay A. Kaliteevskiy, Nikolay A. Kaliteevskiy, William A. Wood, William A. Wood, John D. Downie, John D. Downie, Jason Hurley, Jason Hurley, Petr Sterlingov, Petr Sterlingov, "Power penalties for multi-level PAM modulation formats at arbitrary bit error rates", Proc. SPIE 9775, Next-Generation Optical Networks for Data Centers and Short-Reach Links III, 977508 (7 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2213113; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213113
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