Power-Efficient Modulation Schemes

  • Magnus Karlsson
  • Erik Agrell
Part of the Optical and Fiber Communications Reports book series (OFCR, volume 7)


Coherent optical fiber communications had a brief period of popularity in the early 1990s, mainly because the optical links of that day were significantly power limited. Coherent detection provided a possibility of optically amplifying the signal to a power level that, after photodetection, made the thermal noise negligible. Two things, however, caused those coherent systems to be abandoned. The first was the sheer technical difficulties: a coherent receiver requires a local oscillator laser that is to be phase- and polarization-locked to the received signal. This gave rise to significant technical obstacles, and only a few limited and expensive coherent receiver solutions were demonstrated [17, 27]. The second was the development of the Erbium-doper fiber amplifier (EDFA) that provided an elegant and practical solution to the problem of the thermal noise. By 1995, the EDFA was a commodity in fiber communication systems, simple on-off keying modulation worked well enough, and coherent communication was forgotten.


Modulation Format Spectral Efficiency Amplify Spontaneous Emission Sphere Packing Constellation Point 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We wish to acknowledge funding from Vinnova within the IKT grant, and the Swedish strategic research foundation (SSF). We also acknowledge numerous stimulating discussions with all the researchers within the Chalmers fiber-optic communications research center FORCE. Dr. Seb Savory is gratefully acknowledged for a useful discussion, help with the \({\mathcal{C}}_{4,16}\)cluster, and for providing a few previously overlooked references.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Photonics Laboratory, Department of Microtechnology and NanoscienceChalmers University of TechnologyGöteborgSweden
  2. 2.Communication Systems Group, Department of Signals and SystemsChalmers University of TechnologyGöteborgSweden

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