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Optica Publishing Group
  • Journal of Lightwave Technology
  • Vol. 38,
  • Issue 6,
  • pp. 1157-1167
  • (2020)

Phase Noise Measurements and Performance of Lasers With Non-White FM Noise for Use in Digital Coherent Optical Systems

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Abstract

We measure the FM noise power spectral density of quantum-dot mode-locked lasers (QD-MLLs) and compare this to their measured linewidths as predictors of performance in a digital coherent system. We explain our observations in terms of the non-Lorentzian line shape of the source wherein linewidth is determined by the low frequency part of its FM noise. Investigation of system performance with simulations based on the measured phase sequences and back-to-back coherent transmission experiments show that QD-MLLs with linewidths of several megahertz can have comparable performance to that of a laser with only a few hundreds of kilohertz of Lorentzian linewidth, due to the non-white part of their FM noise. We show that spectral linewidths of lasers with similar spectral properties can underestimate their performance in coherent systems, regardless of the linewidth measurement technique used. We propose a “Lorentzian-equivalent linewidth” measure to characterize lasers with non-white FM noise and to estimate their impact in digital coherent optical systems. This measure is obtained from phase variations at frequencies higher than typical frequencies often used to characterize lasers with white FM noise and comparable to the system baud. The proposed measure is shown to be a better predictor of system performance than the measured linewidth, for lasers with non-white FM noise. The impact of non-white FM noise on the optimization of carrier phase recovery and system performance is also discussed.

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