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Optical fiber and Free-Space Communication

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Optical fiber and Free-Space Communication

Co-Lead: Refai, Chan

Members: Imran

Increasing demand for data- and video-intensive content and the aggressive adoption of cloud-based services are the driving force behind the need for an ever increasing capacity in service provider backbone and metro networks, as well as for high speed interconnect of hyper-scale data centers. While an industry-wide transition from 10G and 40G speeds to 100G within data centers is now underway, next generation 400G and beyond technologies are currently under vigorous pursuit.

Optical communication in free-space (i.e., short FSO) provides much higher bandwidth than its RF counterpart despite new advancements in multiple-input multiple-out (MIMO) technology. FSO encodes information on visible or infrared light, and then transmits light beams into the atmosphere to establish license-free, directional, secure, and electromagnetic interference-immune networking. Research activities are presently focused on software defined optics, cognitive optics, and optical diversity.

Research at TCOM focuses on innovative modulation formats and efficient digital electronic signal processing at receiver and transmitter. Cost-efficient technologies that can be economically adopted in data centers are emphasized. These include coherent communication based on direct-detection receivers and novel schemes, such as Kramers-Kronig coherent receiver using only a single photodiode.