The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

Short Courses

SC341 - Multi-carrier Modulation and Superchannels for Terabit-class Transceivers

Sunday, 03 March
09:00 - 13:00

Short Course Level: Intermediate


Sander L. Jansen; ADVA Optical Networking, Germany
Dirk van den Borne; Juniper Networks, Germany

Short Course Description:

During the last decade 100G modulation with coherent detection and digital signal processing has become the de-facto standard for optical transport, and the industry is now busy developing the next generation of 400G systems. Next-generation 7nm CMOS technology will enable terabit-class digital signal processing in a single ASIC and higher sample rate DAC/ADCs can engineer a wider spectrum. At the same time, the tight integration of optics with the DSP potentially enables baud rates in excess of 100 Gbaud. How will this impact optical transport, and which transceiver architectures and modulation formats are most optimal for this technology?


This short course will focus in detail on the use of Superchannels and multi-carrier modulation formats for next-generation optical transport systems. What is the optimal symbol rate and how can terabit-class transmission systems benefit from multi-carrier modulation formats? We will explain different digital multi-carrier technologies such as OFDM, DMT and SCM and detail their impacts on the design of transmission systems, both in performance-optimized long-haul networks as well as cost-optimized short-reach metro-access networks.

Superchannels have generally been used as an optical multi-carrier technology when the data rate of a single optical carrier is not sufficient transport to transport the client data rate. With Ethernet interfaces scaling beyond 400G and into the Terabit range, the use of Superchannels will become even more important. In this short course, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Superchannels and how this enables us to maximize transmission performance and spectral efficiency.

Short Course Benefits:

This course should enable you to:

  • Describe how Ethernet technology might evolve beyond 400GE, and towards Terabit-class interfaces and what the implication is for optical transport networks.

  • Understand the concept of optical Superchannels and provide a detailed overview of their advantages and disadvantages.

  • List different flavors of multi-carrier modulation and detail the advantages and disadvantages of each modulation method.

  • Understand how multi-carrier modulation formats can be used to optimize the nonlinear tolerance in long-haul transmission systems by tuning the baud rate depending on the properties of a transmission link.

  • Describe modulation and detection concepts of different multicarrier modulation formats such as orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM), discrete multi-tone (DMT), sub-carrier multiplexing (SCM) and offset-QAM.

  • Understand the advantages of DMT over other formats for cost-effective short distance applications such as PAM4 and OFDM.

  • Understand the different multicarrier modulation formats in the context of cost-effective short-reach systems and how to leverage the trade-off between optical performance and system complexity / cost.

  • Understand the state-of-the-art research in high-capacity transmission systems and explore the limits of technology in multicarrier modulation.

Short Course Audience:

This course is intended for engineers, researchers and technical managers who would like to gain a better understanding about the design trade-offs in Terabit-class transceivers. We focus especially on the benefits of technologies such as multi-carrier modulation and Superchannels in the realization of next-generation optical transport systems. Apart from the theory and concepts, we will detail as well the most relevant applications of this technology in different segments of the optical transport network. Participants should have a comprehensive knowledge in the field of fiber-optic transmission systems as well as optical modulation and detection; no previous knowledge of multi-carrier modulation techniques is required.

Instructor Biography:

Sander L. Jansen received his Ph.D. degree (with highest honors) in EE from the Eindhoven, University of Technology. Subsequently, Dr. Jansen worked as a post-doc at KDDI R&D Laboratories in Japan where he specialized in optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM). From 2008 to 2012 he was project manager at Nokia Siemens Networks in Germany. Currently, Dr. Jansen is Director of Product Line Management at ADVA Optical Networking, Germany. Dr. Jansen authored and co-authored 10+ patents, one book chapter and more than 100 refereed papers and conference contributions. He is a senior editor for PTL and has served as a committee member on various conferences. He has received several awards including the Young Investigator award from the IEEE Photonics Society “for pioneering contributions in optical OFDM for fiber-optic transmission systems”.
Dirk van den Borne received his Ph.D. degrees in electric engineering from the Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands. During his Ph.D. research he succeeded in the first-ever demonstration of 100G modulation and detection with coherent detection and digital signal processing, now the established industry standard for 100G transport. In 2008 he joined Nokia Siemens Networks where he was responsible for the optical system performance of the DWDM portfolio. Since 2012 he works at Juniper Networks, where he is a director of architecture and advises service providers worldwide on their network evolution strategy. Dr. van den Borne has spoken frequently at major industry events, authored and co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and conference contributions and holds several patents on optical communication. He is an associate editor for PTL and served on various technical program committees. He received several awards, including the 2007 telecommunication award from the Dutch Royal Institute of Engineers.

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