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Title:
METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR GENERATING 16-QAM-MODULATED OPTICAL SIGNAL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2011/028275
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A system and method for producing a 16-QAM-modulated signal are disclosed. The methodology, in an exemplary expedient, generally comprises splitting light from a CW laser into two parts; modulating the first part with a first signal and modulating the second pan with a second signal; phase shifting the modulated second part by about π/2; combining the modulated first part with the phase shifted and modulated second part to produce a four-level modulated signal; phase modulating the four-level modulated signal with a third signal with a phase modulation of about (0, π/2) to produce an 8-QAM-modulated signal, and thereafter modulating that signal with a fourth signal with a phase-modulation of about (0, π) to produce the 16-QAM-modulated signal.

Inventors:
ZHOU, Xiang (17 East Lawn Drive, Holmdel, NJ, 07733, US)
Application Number:
US2010/002392
Publication Date:
March 10, 2011
Filing Date:
September 01, 2010
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
AT&T INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY I, L.P. (645 E. Plumb Lane, Reno, NV, 89502, US)
ZHOU, Xiang (17 East Lawn Drive, Holmdel, NJ, 07733, US)
International Classes:
H04B10/155
Foreign References:
US20050238367A1
US20080095486A1
US7260332B1
JP2009094988A
Other References:
BERNASCONI P G ET AL: "1-Tb/s (6 170.6 Gb/s) transmission over 2000-km nzdf using otdm and rz-dpsk format", IEEE PHOTONICS TECHNOLOGY LETTERS, IEEE SERVICE CENTER, PISCATAWAY, NJ, US, vol. 15, no. 11, 1 November 2003 (2003-11-01), pages 1618-1620, XP011102854, ISSN: 1041-1135, DOI: DOI:10.1109/LPT.2003.818634
XIANG ZHOU; JIANJUN YU; MEIN DU; GUODONG ZHANG: '2Tb/s (20x 107 Gb/s) RZ-DQPSK straight-line transmission over 1005 km of standard single mode fiber (SSMF) without Raman amplification' OFC 2008 2008,
P. J. WINZER; G. RAYBON; S. CHANDRASEKHAR; C. D. DOERR; T. KAWANISHI; T. SAKAMOTO; K. HIGUMA: '10x107 Gb/s NRZ-DQPSK transmission at 1.0b/s/Hz over 12x100km including 6 optical routing nodes' PROC.OFC2007 2007,
XIANG ZHOU; JIANJUN YU; DAYOU QIAN; TING WANG; GUODONG ZHANG; P. D. MAGILL: '8x114 Gb/s, 25-GHz-spaced, PolMux-RZ-8PSK transmission over 640 km of SSMF employing digital coherent detection and EDFA-only amplification' OFC 2008 2008,
M. SEIMETZ; L. MOLLE; D.-D. GROSS; B. AUTH; R. FREUND: 'Coherent RZ-8PSK transmission at 30 Gb/s over 1200 km employing Homodyne detection with digital carrier phase estimation' PROC. ECOC2007, BERLIN September 2007,
JOSEPH M. KAHN; KEANG-PO HO: 'Spectral Efficiency Limits and Modulation/Detection Techniques for DWDM Systems' IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS vol. 10, no. 2, March 2004, pages 259 - 272
Y. MORI; C. ZHANG; K. IGARASHI; K. KATOH; K. KIKUCHI: 'Unrepeated 200-km Transmission of 40-Gbit/s 16-QAM Signals using Digital Coherent Optical Receiver' OECC 2008 2008,
P. J. WINZER; A. H. GNAUCK: '112 Gb/s Polarization-Multiplexed 16-QAM on a 25-GHz WDM Grid' ECOC 2008 2008,
T. SAKAMOTO ECOC '07 2007,
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEINICK, Jeffrey, M. (Wolff & Samson, PCOne Boland Driv, West Orange NJ, 07052, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

I claim:

1. An apparatus, comprising:

a first coupler that receives light and splits the light into two parts;

a first modulator that modulates the first part with a first signal and a second modulator that modulates the second part with a second signal;

a phase shifter that shifts a phase of the modulated second part by about π/2; a second coupler that combines the modulated first part with the phase shifted and modulated second part to produce a four-level modulated signal;

a phase modulator that further modulates the four-level modulated signal with a third signal with a phase modulation of about (0, π/2) to produce an 8-QAM-modulated signal; and

a third modulator that further modulates the 8-QAM signal with a fourth-signal to produce a 16-QAM-modulated signal.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the first modulator and the second modulator comprises a Mach-Zehnder (MZ) optical modulator.

3. The apparatus according to claim 1 , wherein at least one of the first coupler and the second coupler is a 3 dB (1 : 1) optical coupler.

4. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the first modulator is biased at a null point and driven by the first signal with a driving swing of about 0.6Vn, and the second modulator is biased at a null point and driven by the second signal with a driving swing in the range of from about -0.4νπ to +0.4Vn.

5. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the phase modulator is driven by the third signal with a phase modulation equal to approximately (0, π/2).

6. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the first, second and third signals are binary electrical signals.

7. A method for producing a 16-QAM-modulated signal, comprising:

splitting light into two parts;

modulating the first part with a first signal and modulating the second part with a second signal;

phase shifting the modulated second part by approximately π/2;

combining the modulated first part with the phase shifted and modulated second part to produce a four-level modulated signal;

phase modulating the four-level modulated signal with a third signal with a phase modulation of about (0, π/2) to produce an 8-QAM-modulated signal; and

further modulating the 8-QAM modulated signal with a fourth signal with a phase modulation of about O/π to produce a 16-QAM-modulated signal.

8. The method according to claim 7, further comprising attenuating the phase shifted and modulated second part.

9. The method according to claim 7, further comprising biasing a first modulator at a null point and driving the first modulator by the first signal with a driving swing of about O.6V71, and biasing the second modulator at a null point with the second signal with a driving swing in the range of from about -0.4Υπ to +0.4Υπ.

Description:
METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR GENERATING

16-QAM-MODULATED OPTICAL SIGNAL

Field of the Disclosure

[0001] The present disclosure relates generally to communication networks, and more particularly, to converting binary electrical signals into a single sixteen-level quadrature-amplitude-modulated (16-QAM) optical signal.

Background

[0002] Wave division multiplexing (WDM) optical networks are well known. A

WDM channel is typically transmitted by a single mode semiconductor laser, where information to be communicated is imposed on the light by modulating the laser current or by externally modulating the light by applying a voltage to a modulator coupled to the laser source. A receiver subsequently photo-detects and converts the light into electric current either by direct or coherent detection.

[0003] Due to the rapid growth of optical networks and the need for greater capacity, significant research has focused on finding efficient multi-level optical modulation formats. Any digital modulation scheme uses a finite number of distinct signals to represent digital data. Phase- shift-keying (PSK) uses a finite number of phases; each assigned a unique pattern of binary bits. Usually, each phase encodes an equal number of bits, and each pattern of bits forms the symbol that is represented by the particular phase. The demodulator, which is designed specifically for the symbol-set used by the modulator, determines the phase of the received signal and maps it back to the symbol it represents, thereby recovering the original data. The receiver compares the phase of the received signal to a reference signal. This expedient utilizes coherent detection and is referred to as CPSK.

[0004] Alternatively, in lieu of using the bit patterns to establish the phase of the wave, CPSK employs differential phase changes. The demodulator then determines these phase changes in lieu of the actual phase of the signal. This scheme is referred to as differential phase-shift keying (DPSK), and is easier to implement than PSK as there is no need for the demodulator to maintain the reference signal to determine the exact phase of the received signal.

[0005] BPSK (also sometimes called PRK, Phase Reversal Keying) is the simplest form of PSK. It utilizes a pair of phases separated by 180° and is known as 2- PSK.

[0006] Quaternary or quadriphase PSK, 4-PSK, or 4-QAM (QPSK) uses four points on a constellation diagram as is known in the art. The four-phase QPSK can encode two bits per symbol - twice the rate of BPSK - and experimentation has demonstrated that this may double the data rate compared to a BPSK system while maintaining the bandwidth of the signal. Alternatively, QPSK can maintain the data-rate of BPSK at half the requisite bandwidth.

[0007] Optical modulations based on four-level quadrature-phase-shift-key

(QPSK) have been effectively demonstrated for both 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s optical transmission. In the quest for even higher spectral efficiency, eight-level 8-PSK modulation has been proposed and demonstrated experimentally. [0008] 8-QAM is another eight-level modulation format. In comparison to 8-

PS , 8-QAM is tolerant of greater noise (on the order of 1.6 dB), with identical spectral utilization.

[0009] Optical modulation formats based on 4-ary quadrature-phase-shift-key

(QPSK) and 8-PSK have already been demonstrated for 100 Gb/s optical transmission are discussed in the publications by Xiang Zhou, Jianjun Yu, Mein Du, and Guodong Zhang, "2Tb/s (20x107 Gb/s) RZ-DQPSK straight-line transmission over 1005 km of standard single mode fiber (SSMF) without Raman amplification," OFC 2008, paper OMQ3; P. J. Winzer, G. Raybon,S. Chandrasekhar, C. D. Doerr, T. Kawanishi, T. Sakamoto, K.

Higuma, "10x107 Gb/s NRZ-DQPSK transmission at 1.0b/s/Hz over 12xl00km including 6 optical routing nodes," Proc.OFC2007, Anaheim, CA, 2007, PDP 24; Xiang Zhou, Jianjun Yu, Dayou Qian, Ting Wang, Guodong Zhang, and P. D. Magill, "8x114 Gb/s, 25-GHz-spaced, PolMux-RZ-8PSK transmission over 640 km of SSMF employing digital coherent detection and EDFA-only amplification," OFC 2008, PDP1; and M. Seimetz, L. Molle, D.-D. Gross, B. Auth, R. Freund, "Coherent RZ-8PSK transmission at 30 Gb/s over 1200 km employing Homodyne detection with digital carrier phase estimation," Proc. ECOC2007, Berlin, Sept. 2007, paper We 8.3.4,

[0010] Rectangular 16-QAM has been shown to be a very attractive modulation format to further increase the spectral efficiency as disclosed in Joseph M. Kahn and Keang-Po Ho, "Spectral Efficiency Limits and Modulation/Detection Techniques for DWDM Systems," IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, Vol. 10, No. 2, March April 2004, pp. 259-272. As shown by Kahn, rectangular 16-QAM can increase the spectral efficiency (SE) by 33% over 8-PS . while only introducing a 0.5 dB noise penalty.

[0011] A method to generate rectangular 16-QAM optical signals is proposed by

Y. Mori, C. Zhang, K. Igarashi, K. Katoh, K. Kikuchi, "Unrepeated 200-km

Transmission of 40-Gbit/s 16-QAM Signals using Digital Coherent Optical Receiver," OECC 2008, 2008, PDP 4; and P. J. Winzer, A. H. Gnauck, "112 Gb/s Polarization- Multiplexed 16-QAM on a 25-GHz WDM Grid," ECOC 2008, 2008, paper Th.3.E.5, The method uses a digital or analogue method to generate two multilevel electrical signals which are then used to drive a dual parallel Mach-Zehnder modulator (MZM). At present, the generation of high-speed multilevel electrical signals is still quite difficult and may be very expensive due to the need of broadband linear electrical power amplifiers.

[0012] Another method to also generate rectangular 16-QAM optical signals is proposed T. Sakamoto et al, ECOC '07, PD2.8, 2007,. The method uses four binary electrical signals to drive a quadparallel MZM, which consists of two amplirude- asymmetric dualparallel MZMs in a parallel configuration. In addition, very accurate phase and polarization control of the two amplitude asymmetric dual-parallel MZMs are required, which may also be a potential problem for the practical application. In fact, quad-parallel is still not commercially available yet.

Summary

[0013] In accordance with a first aspect of the disclosure, an apparatus is disclosed for producing a 16-QAM-modulated signal. The apparatus comprises a first coupler that receives light from a CW laser and splits the light into two. The split lightwaves are independently received by a first modulator that modulates the first part with a first signal and a second modulator that receives and modulates the second part with a second signal, respectively. The second modulator outputs a signal to a phase shifter that shifts a phase of the modulated second part by approximately π/2. The first and second parts are combined at a second coupler to produce a four- level modulated signal, which is further modulated with a third signal with a phase modulation of about (0, π/2) to produce an 8-QAM modulated signal. The output of this phase modulation step is further modulated with a fourth-signal to produce a 16-QAM-modulated signal. The first and second modulators are preferably phase-asymmetric Mach-Zehnder (MZ) modulators, and the third modulator is either an MZ or phase modulator.

[0014] In accordance with another aspect of the disclosure, a method for producing a 16-QAM-modulated signal is provided. This method comprises: splitting light from a laser into two parts and modulating the first part with a first signal and modulating the second part with a second signal. The second part is then phase shifted by approximately nil, and the modulated first part and phase shifted and modulated second part are combined to produce a four-level modulated signal. This signal is again modulated with a third signal with a phase modulation of about (0, π/2) to produce an 8- QAM-modulated signal, which is then further modulated with a fourth signal with a phase modulation of about 0/π to produce a 16-QAM-modulated signal.

[0015] These aspects of the invention and further aspects and advantages thereof will become apparent to those skilled in the ait as the present invention is described with particular reference to the accompanying drawings. Brief Description of the Drawings

[0016] Fig. 1 is a high-level schematic of a representative optical network for carrying out aspects of the disclosure;

[0017] Fig. 2 is a schematic of a first exemplary embodiment of an apparatus for creating a rectangular 16-QAM optical signal;

[0018] Fig. 3a is a simulated I-Q constellation diagram after the dual-parallel

MZMs;

[0019] Fig. 3b is a simulated I-Q constellation diagram after the (0, nil) phase modulation;

[0020] Fig. 3c is a simulated I-Q constellation diagram after the (0, π) phase modulation; and

[0021] Fig. 4 is a modified implementation of a rectangular 16-QAM modulator.

Detailed Description

[0022] Embodiments will be described with reference to the accompanying drawing figures wherein like numbers represent like elements throughout to the extent possible. Before embodiments are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the disclosure is not limited in its application to the details of the examples set forth in the following description or illustrated in the figures. The disclosure suggests other embodiments and of being practiced or carried out in a variety of applications and in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded. as limiting. The use of "including," "comprising," or "having" and variations thereof herein are meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items.

[0023] Fig. 1 is a schematic of the general architecture of a conventional optical network 100, which comprises a modulator 102, an intermediate optical communications network represented by network cloud 104 and a photo-detection system 106 that receives and converts the light waves to electrical signals. The modulator 102 comprises an optical splitter 108 that splits the incoming light from a Continuous Wave (CW) laser source 110 into two components - a first part 112 and a second part 114. The first and second parts 112, 1 14 are modulated by Mach-Zehnder Modulators MZM1 116 and MZM2 118, which are driven by binary signals DATA 1 and DATA2, respectively, and biased at the null point with a driving swing of 2Vn. The modulated second part from MZM2 118 is applied to a phase shifter 120 to impose a phase shift of π/2. The modulated first part 112 and modulated and phase-shifted lower part are combined by a 1: 1 optical combiner 122 and the output thereof subsequently phase-modulated by (0, π/4) with binary signal DATA3 at phase-modulator 124 to produce the modulated output signal, in this example 8-QAM.

[0024] The exemplary photo-detection system 106 of Fig. 1 applies an incoming optical signal to a polarization beam splitter 128. The x-polarization is applied to a 1x2 90° phase and polarization hybrid 130a and the y- polarization to 1x2 90° phase and polarization hybrid 130b. A Local Oscillator (LO) 132 is coupled to a polarization beam splitter 134 such that the x-polarization is applied to hybrid 130a and the y-polarization to hybrid 130b. Each hybrid 130a, 130b has two outputs with two respective polarization states. The top two outputs have the LO in one state of polarization (horizontal) and the lower two outputs have the LO in the orthogonal state of polarization. These are received by a plurality of photo-detectors 136a and 136b, respectively, which output a

corresponding photocurrent. The respective signals are 90° out of phase from each other and sampled by four analog-to-digital (A/D) converters 138a, 138b, respectively. The sample values are processed by a digital signal processor (DSP) 140 into output which can be sent to a network access device, a personal computer 142 as in this example.

[0025] Fig. 2 is a schematic of an exemplary embodiment of an apparatus 200 for creating a rectangular 16-QAM optical signal. The illustrative configuration employs a dual-parallel MZM, followed by two regular phase modulators in a serial configuration, driven by four binary electrical signals. The exemplary modulator 200 comprises π/2- biased dual-parallel MZMs 202, 204, a (0, nil) phase modulator 206, and a (0, π) phase modulator 208. The (0, π) phase modulator 208 is a phase modulator of the type known to those skilled in the art, or it may be a MZM-based phase modulator, which is biased at the null point with a 2Vn peak-to-peak driving swing. Incoming light from a CW laser source 210 is split by an optical splitter 212 into two components - a first part 214 and a second part 216. The first and second parts 214, 216 are modulated by MZM1 202 and MZM2 204, both biased at 0.6Vn with a peak-to-peak driving swing of O.8V71.

Alternatively, a bias of 1.2Vn with a 0.8Vn peak-to ^ peak driving swing may be employed. Utilizing the driving setting on the MZMs as described in the foregoing, the optical signals are joined at an optical combiner 218, the output of which is represented by "A", an offset rectangular 4-QAM signal. After these offset 4-QAM optical signals are applied to a (0, π/2) PM 206, the output of which is represented by "B", an offset rectangular 8-QAM signal. The offset 8-QAM optical signals are subsequently processed through a (0, π) PM or MZM 208, the output of which is represented by "C", a standard rectangular 16-QAM signal. This signal 224 may then be transmitted via any

methodology known by those skilled in the art, into a communications network.

[0026] Figs. 3a, 3b and 3c depict simulated I-Q constellation diagrams of "A" from Fig. 2 (after the dual-parallel MZMs 202, 204 and OC 218), "B" from Fig. 2 (after the (0, nil) phase modulator 206), and "C" from Fig. 2 (after the (0, π) phase modulator 208), respectively. The simulated results shown in Fig. 3 are all based on a numerical simulation assuming a 0.7 symbol rate of 3-dB modulator bandwidth, and that all modulators and their diiving circuits have a fist-order Gauss filter response with identical bandwidth.

[0027] All the required optical components in the rectangular 16-QAM modulator

(dual-parallel MZM, PM and common MZM) disclosed herein and shown in Fig. 2 are commercially available for up to a 30 GHz bandwidth. Therefore, by combining polarization division multiplexing (PDM), the disclosed method can generate a single- carrier PDM- 16-QAM optical signal with a bit rate greater than 200 Gb/s.

[0028] In summary, rectangular 16-QAM is a promising modulation format for transmission systems operating at 100 Gb/s and above due to high spectral efficiency and optimal noise performance. The methodology disclosed herein allows a 16-QAM optical signal to be generated using commercially available optical modulators with binary electrical drive signals. By combining the same with polarization division multiplexing, the 16-QAM modulator can be used to generate an optical signal carrying data with a bit rate greater than 200 Gb/s per wavelength. This is very difficult to realize using existing 16-QAM generation methods. Increasing data rate per wavelength and spectral efficiency has historically been shown to be an effective method to reduce cost per transmitted bit because fiber and optical components can be shared over more capacity.

[0029] Note that the two cascaded phase modulators shown in Fig. 2 (206 and

208) form a serial QPSK modulator. Because QPSK modulation can also be implemented by a π/2 - biased dual-parallel MZM modulator with both child MZMs biased at the null point but with full Vn driving swing (i.e. the common parallel QPSK modulator), a modified 16QAM modulator can be constructed by replacing the serial QPSK modulator by a parallel QPSK modulator as is shown in Fig. 4. The 16QAM modulator shown in Fig. 4 is more complex than that shown in Fig. 2 but may achieve better performance if the modulator bandwidth is limited, which is usually true for very high-speed optical communication systems.

[0030] The foregoing detailed description is to be understood as being in every respect illustrative and exemplary, but not restrictive, and the scope of the disclosure discussed herein is not to be detennined from the description, but rather from the claims as interpreted according to the full breadth permitted by the patent laws. It is to be understood that the embodiments shown and described herein are only illustrative of the principles of the present disclosure and that various modifications may be implemented by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the disclosure.