Single-step digital backpropagation for nonlinearity mitigation

Marco Secondini, Simon Rommel, Gianluca Meloni, Francesco Fresi, Enrico Forestieri, Luca Poti

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Nonlinearity mitigation based on the enhanced split-step Fourier method (ESSFM) for the implementation of low-complexity digital backpropagation (DBP) is investigated and experimentally demonstrated. After reviewing the main computational aspects of DBP and of the conventional split-step Fourier method (SSFM), the ESSFM for dual-polarization signals is introduced. Computational complexity, latency, and power consumption of DBP based on the SSFM and ESSFM algorithms are estimated and compared. Effective low-complexity nonlinearity mitigation in a 112 Gb/s polarization-multiplexed QPSK system is experimentally demonstrated by using a single-step DBP based on the ESSFM. The proposed DBP implementation requires only a single step of the ESSFM algorithm to achieve a transmission distance of 3200km over a dispersion-unmanaged link. In comparison, a conventional DBP implementation requires 20 steps of the SSFM algorithm to achieve the same performance. An analysis of the computational complexity and structure of the two algorithms reveals that the overall complexity and power consumption of DBP are reduced by a factor of 16 with respect to a conventional implementation, while the computation time is reduced by a factor of 20. Similar complexity reductions can be obtained at longer distances if higher error probabilities are acceptable. The results indicate that the proposed algorithm enables a practical and effective implementation of DBP in real-time optical receivers, with only a moderate increase in the computational complexity, power consumption, and latency with respect to a simple feed-forward equalizer for bulk dispersion compensation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-502
JournalPhotonic Network Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Fiber-optic systems
  • Fiber nonlinearity
  • Digital backpropagation


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