Journal article Open Access

Reservoir-computing based equalization with optical pre-processing for short-reach optical transmission

Francesco Da Ros; Stenio M. Ranzini; Henning Bülow; Darko Zibar

Chromatic dispersion is one of the key limitations to increasing the transmission distance-rate product for short-reach communication systems relying on intensity modulation and direct detection. The available optical dispersion-compensation techniques have lost favor due to their high impact on the link loss budget. Alternative digital techniques are commonly power-hungry and introduce latency. In this work, we compare different digital, optical and joint hybrid approaches to provide equalization and dispersion compensation for short-reach optical transmission links. Reservoir computing, as a promising technique to provide equalization with memory in an easily trainable fashion, is reviewed and the properties of the reservoir network are directly linked to system performance. Furthermore, we propose a new hybrid method relying on reservoir computing combined with a simple signal pre-conditioning stage directly in the optical domain. The optical pre-processing uses an arrayed waveguide grating to split the received signal into smaller sub-bands. The performance of the proposed scheme is thoroughly characterized both in terms of reservoir properties and appropriate pre-processing. The benefits are numerically demonstrated for 32-GBd on-off keying signal transmission, and show an increase in reach from 10 km to 40 km, corresponding to 400 %, compared with more complex digital-only techniques.

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