Comparison of Delay-Interferometer and Time- Lens-Based All-Optical OFDM Demultiplexers

Mads Lillieholm, Hans Christian Hansen Mulvad, Michael Galili, Leif Katsuo Oxenløwe

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In this letter, we present the first detailed numerical comparison of two promising all-optical schemes to demultiplex orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) signals. The investigated schemes are the optical discrete Fourier transformation (O-DFT) and the optical spectral magnification (SM) based on time lenses. In the former scheme, cascaded delay-interferometers (DIs) are used to perform the O-DFT, with subsequent active optical gating to remove the intercarrier interference (ICI). Here, a reduced-complexity partial O-DFT, realized by replacing a number of DIs with optical bandpass filters, is investigated. In the latter scheme, the OFDM spectrum is magnified, allowing for simple optical bandpass filtering of the individual subcarriers with reduced ICI. Ideally, only a single unit consisting of two time lenses is needed, reducing the complexity and potentially the energy consumption compared with the type of O-DFT scheme relying on many active gates. The bit-error-rate is estimated down to ~10-6 by Monte Carlo bit-error counting for a 32-subcarrier OFDM input signal, showing that a performance close to the ideal O-DFT is achievable for both the reduced-complexity O-DFT and the SM scheme.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Photonics Technology Letters
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1153-1156
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • All-optical OFDM
  • Optical discrete Fourier transformation
  • Optical fourier transformation
  • Time lens
  • Bandpass filters
  • Bit error rate
  • Demultiplexing
  • Discrete Fourier transforms
  • Energy utilization
  • Frequency division multiplexing
  • Interferometers
  • Lenses
  • Optical communication
  • Optical fiber communication
  • Optical frequency conversion
  • Delay interferometer
  • Discrete fourier transformation
  • Fourier transformations
  • Intercarrier interference
  • Numerical comparison
  • Optical bandpass filters
  • Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing
  • Engineered Materials, Dielectrics and Plasmas
  • Photonics and Electrooptics
  • Integrated optics
  • OFDM
  • optical discrete Fourier transformation
  • Optical filters
  • optical Fourier transformation
  • Optical receivers
  • Optical signal processing
  • time lens


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