The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

SC468 - Advanced FEC Techniques for Optical Communications New

Monday, 04 March
08:30 - 12:30

Short Course Level: Advanced Beginner


Laurent Schmalen; Nokia Bell Labs, USA

Short Course Description:

This course is intended for engineers and students who have a background in the basic concepts in forward error correction techniques (e.g., by completing course SC390) but would like to dive deeper into the modern concepts and technologies that are employed in today’s high-speed optical communication systems. The course is intended to give participants insights on the selection of FEC schemes for different applications, the design of LDPC-based schemes, which form one of the most popular coding schemes in optical communications these days, and, finally, the design of hardware-emulators to simulate to very low bit error rates. Some of the topics covered in the course are:

  1. Recapitulation of basic concepts of forward error correction (FEC)

  2. Hard-decision decoding versus soft-decision decoding

    1. Basic concepts, potential gains and possible limitations

    2. Guidelines for decoding method selection depending on application

  3. In-depth treatment of low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes

    1. Introduction to LDPC codes

    2. Common designs of parity-check matrices, e.g., Quasi-Cyclic (QC) codes

    3. Decoding LDPC codes – algorithms for soft-decision and hard-decision decoding

    4. Decoding LDPC codes – hardware implementation aspects

    5. Encoding of LDPC codes

  4. Simulation of LDPC codes on FPGA-boards for error floor analysis

    1. FPGAs vs. GPUs for FEC simulation and error floor analysis

    2. Noise generation for emulation of SD-FEC decoders and optical channels

    3. Parallel decoder implementation and control

  5. Discussion of new, emerging FEC schemes

    1. Spatially coupled codes

    2. Polar codes

    3. Early thoughts about application in optical communications

Short Course Benefits:

The course should enable participants to

  • Identify key applications and approaches of modern FEC schemes in optical communications

  • Determine whether hard-decision or soft-decision decoding should be used in a high-speed application

  • Describe the key features of low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes and the reasons for their almost ubiquitous use in today’s communication systems

  • Design own LDPC codes together with their encoding and decoding algorithms that are tailored to the respective application

  • Test the performance of the own designed codes by means of simulations

  • Discuss the use of FPGAs and GPUs as simulation utilities for performing low error-rate Monte-Carlo simulations

  • Compare various options for simulating SD-FEC codes and performing error floor analysis using FPGAs and GPUs

  • Summarize key aspects and limitation of emerging coding schemes like polar codes

Short Course Audience:

The course is intended for the students and engineers who have a background and possibly experience in forward error correction (FEC) algorithms but are beginners to modern FEC schemes like LDPC codes, spatially coupled codes and polar codes. The course is intended to give insights to participants on modern FEC schemes by going though material that will highlight the theoretical foundations of these schemes but also describe how encoding and decoding circuits can be built, allowing the participants to build their own FEC schemes. A part of the course will be devoted to FPGA prototyping of FEC algorithms used in coherent optical transceivers to verify performance at very low error rates.

Instructor Biography:

Laurent Schmalen is a member of technical staff and department head in the smart network fabric research lab in Nokia Bell Labs in Stuttgart, Germany. He joined Bell labs in 2011 after receiving his Ph.D. from RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany. His research topics include forward error correction algorithms and digital coded modulation schemes for high-speed optical communications. He received multiple awards for his research work, has more than 120 publications in journal and conference papers, has co-authored 3 book chapters and holds several patents.

Sponsored by: