An Experimental Demonstration of Rate- Adaptation Using Shaped Polar Codes for Flexible Optical Networks

Shajeel Iqbal*, Edson Porto da Silva, Metodi Plamenov Yankov, Leif Katsuo Oxenløwe, Søren Forchhammer

*Corresponding author for this work

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In this paper, we propose a polar-coded transmission system with adjustable data rate for coherent optical transmission employing quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). The proposed system is based on a many-to-one constellation shaping method for achieving a range of data rates with arbitrarily small rate steps. An implicitly punctured polar-coded modulation system is then designed by combining polar coded bit-interleaved coded modulation system (BICM) with many-to-one labellings. The scheme is experimentally evaluated in a wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) system with five carriers modulated at 16 GBaud with polarization multiplexed (PM) 256QAM. Data rates ranging from 121 Gbps to 182 Gbps per carrier are experimentally demonstrated and the system can be directly extended to achieve higher data rates. Synchronization and equalization of PM-256QAM received symbols is performed with a pilot rate of 5%. The experimental results show 1.2 dB of shaping gain over the conventionally punctured polar codes in the optical back-to-back scenario. The maximum transmission system reach is increased by 200 km to 400 km w.r.t the conventionally punctured polar codes. It is shown that the rate adaptation does not require a change of modulation format and/or underlying forward error-correction (FEC) code. Finally, the performance of all 5 WDM channels is validated for the optimal input power.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number13
Pages (from-to)3357 - 3364
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Polar codes
  • Experimental demonstration
  • Probabilistic shaping
  • Wavelength division multiplexing (WDM)
  • Rate-adaptation


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