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

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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 usually 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 is reviewed as a promising technique to provide equalization with memory in an easily trainable fashion, 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 narrow sub-bands. The performance of the proposed scheme is thoroughly characterized both in terms of reservoir properties and appropriate preprocessing. 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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalI E E E Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number5
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Short-reach transmission
  • Direct-detection
  • Reservoir computing
  • Signal equalization
  • Chromatic dispersion compensation

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