Fundamentals of the Nonlinear Optical Channel

Project: Research direct

Project Details


Fibre optics are critical infrastructure for society because they carry nearly all the global Internet traffic. For a long time, optical fibre systems were thought to have infinite information-carrying capabilities. With current traffic demands growing by a factor between 10 and 100 every decade, however, this is no longer the case. In fact, it is currently unknown if the installed optical infrastructure will manage to cope with these demands in the future, or if we will face the so-called “capacity crunch”.

To satisfy traffic demands, transceivers are being operated near the nonlinear regime of the fibres. In this regime, a power-dependent nonlinear phenomenon known as the Kerr effect becomes the key impairment that limits the information-carrying capability of optical fibres. The intrinsic nonlinear nature of these fibres makes the analysis very difficult and has led to a series of unanswered fundamental questions about data transmission in nonlinear optical fibres, and nonlinear media in general. For example, the maximum amount of information that optical fibres can carry in the highly nonlinear regime is still unknown, and the design of transceivers well-suited for this regime is also completely unexplored. These fundamental questions are the key objective of this project which will ultimately give an answer to the capacity crunch question.

Layman's description

The FUN-NOTCH project copes foundational questions around the emerging phenomena of transceivers operated near the nonlinear regime of fibers. We aim at approaching theoretical mechanisms to optimize the current technologies, and we expect this will positively contribute to extending the capacity crunch in optical fiber communications.

External webpage:
Effective start/end date1/01/1831/12/22

Research Output

Coded modulation for 100G coherent EPON

Gerard, T., Dzieciol, H., Sillekens, E., Wakayama, Y., Alvarado, A., Killey, R. I., Bayvel, P. & Lavery, D., 1 Feb 2020, In : Journal of Lightwave Technology. 38, 3, p. 564-572 9 p., 8831407.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 1 Downloads (Pure)

    Analysis and optimization of distribution matching for the nonlinear fibre channel

    Fehenberger, T. & Alvarado, A., 5 Jul 2019, In : arXiv. 4 p., 1907.02846v1.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

    Open Access
  • Prizes

    Asia Communications and Photonics Conference(ACP) 2018 Best Paper Award

    Bin Chen (Recipient), Y. Lei (Recipient), Domaniç Lavery (Recipient), C.M. Okonkwo (Recipient) & Alex Alvarado (Recipient), 28 Nov 2018

    Prize: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific

  • Fundamentals of the Nonlinear Optical Channel (FUN-NOTCH)

    A.E. Alvarado (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: ERCStartingScientific