Gabriele Liga, Eindoven University of Technology, Netherlands
David Millar, Infinera, USA
Sergejs Makovejs, Corning, USA
After a decade of intense research and animated discussions around new approaches to increase the spectral efficiency (SE) of single-mode optical fiber transmission systems, we now see a significant slow-down in achievable SE gains as improvements become harder and more costly to achieve. The question of improving system SE therefore appears to be beyond the scope of just modem improvements for the first time in many years. As a result, the balance between optical transmission power, SE gains, and investment cost needed to develop more advanced solutions are ever so harder to strike. Yet, no one knows with absolute certainty how much fiber capacity gain can be achieved in the coming years, and with what level of implementation complexity.
This workshop will address a fundamental question: is still worth trying to squeeze more SE out of optical fiber transmission systems? And if not, what are the most attractive alternative options to keep up with the current network capacity demand? These questions will lead us to other questions which will be addressed in this workshop, such as:
- Increasing number of spatial paths (more fibers per cables, new fiber designs etc.) is a promising pathway, but is it the only way forward?
- Is it worth trying to realize the remaining SE gains, and which tools should we use? Are ultra-wide bandwidth solutions also valid contenders?
- What is the practical limit on bit-rate per wavelength (1.6Tb/s, 3.2Tb/s, etc)? Are there any options to overcome this limit?
- Pluggable transceivers have somewhat reduced performance with significantly reduced power and size. Will they enable the next wave of capacity growth throughout the network?
- How much network capacity growth do we need in different parts of the networks (today and in future)? Should we think about network capacity vs. p-t-p route capacity?