Challenges in Polybinary Modulation for Bandwidth Limited Optical Links

Juan José Vegas Olmos, Idelfonso Tafur Monroy, Peter Madsen, Lau Frejstrup Suhr, Bruno Cimoli, Tom Keinicke Johansen, Vitaliy Zhurbenko

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Optical links using traditional modulation formats are reaching a plateau in terms of capacity, mainly due to bandwidth limitations in the devices employed at the transmitter and receivers. Advanced modulation formats, which boost the spectral efficiency, provide a smooth migration path towards effectively increase the available capacity. Advanced modulation formats however require digitalization of the signals and digital signal processing blocks to both generate and recover the data. There is therefore a trade-off in terms of efficiency gain vs complexity. Polybinary modulation, a generalized form of partial response modulation, employs simple codification and filtering at the transmitter to drastically increase the spectral efficiency. At the receiver side, polybinary modulation requires low complexity direct detection and very little digital signal processing. This paper provides an overview of the current research status of the key building blocks in polybinary systems. The results clearly show how polybinary modulation effectively reduces the bandwidth requirements on optical links while providing high spectral efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1000127
JournalJournal of Lasers, Optics & Photonics
Issue number1
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright: © 2016 Vegas Olmos JJ, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • Optical communications
  • Advanced modulation formats
  • Microwave filter
  • Polybinary modulation

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